Matt Sparrow replaced Alan Power in midfield for this Vanarama National League match at early season pace-setters Eastleigh. With Power dropping to the bench, Craig Stanley took the captain's armband against his former side.
The hosts kicked off but it was the Imps who were the first to press with Jack Muldoon, starting on the right of a midfield four, running at the Eastleigh defence but his effort at goal was charged down by a back-tracking defender.
A couple of minutes later Paul Farman picked out Matt Rhead with a deep free-kick but his header was held by Michael Poke whilst the next attack saw Rhead head a Stanley cross inches wide of the right-hand upright.
City kept up the pressure and in the 12th minute grabbed a deserved opener. Shortly after Sparrow fired a shot against team mate Rhead, the ball was kept in the attacking third and when Beevers picked out Rhead with a cross, his header across the box was met by JACK MULDOON who bagged his first City goal from close range.
Eastleigh's response saw them win the game's first corner but this was easily dealt with by the Imps' back line whilst in the 17th minute Luke Waterfall and James Constable went nose-to-nose after the former was penalised for a push on the latter. The outcome was a caution to Waterfall with Constable emerging without punishment.
Midway through the opening period a second Eastleigh corner was headed away by Rhead before Yemi Odubade skipped past the advancing Farman only to fire his cross straight across the face of goal.
City's response saw Sparrow and Chris Bush combine on the left and when the latter whipped in a great cross, Liam Hearn saw his header brilliantly kept out by Poke at point-blank range.
The Imps pressed again in the 32nd minute with Hearn having an effort charged down by Jamie Turley. Rhead was forced off a couple of minutes later for treatment to the back of his head after he was barged in the back; fairly in the eyes of referee Brett Huxtable who then failed to spot a late challenge on Sparrow as he prepared to swing in a cross.
As the half wore on Rhead was having no joy at all with the officials; the big striker getting pushed and barged all over the place by the home defence - all fairly in the eyes of the referee.
The final action of the half saw Odubade cut inside from the left but he curled his effort well wide of the post.
HT: EASTLEIGH 0 IMPS 1
Neither side made any changes during the half-time break so it was as you were as the Imps restarted proceedings.
The first chance of the second period came Eastleigh's way with Josh Payne creating space for himself in the box but Farman kept out his goalbound effort with a good well-positioned save.
A strange decision against Bush who was deemed to have pushed Odubade ended with City defending a free-kick before Nolan got in a great saving challenge to clear his lines. A further spell of Eastleigh pressure then ended with Odubade going down looking for a penalty but nothing was given.
In the 55th minute Poke was forced to sprint off his line to clear from Hearn, who was then denied by the home keeper after he latched on to a clever forward pass from Stanley.
Alan Power replaced goal scorer Jack Muldoon in the 59th minute whilst a couple of minutes later Michael Green came on for Dan Harding for Eastleigh.
Home skipper Ben Strevens headed well wide from a corner and Farman kept out an Andy Drury snap-shot as the hosts pressed for a leveller again. At the other end Poke was forced to palm a Waterfall header behind after Bush curled in a deep free-kick and from this corner Waterfall crashed a header against the bar.
The hosts then made a double switch in the 70th minute with Ross Lafayette and Lee Cook replacing Odubade and Payne. Lafayette was quickly in the action, firing a foot over from 25 yards.
At the other end Hearn latched on to a slip from Turley but a lack of options saw the chance go begging. This turned out to be Hearn's last taste of the action as he was replaced by Conner Robinson for the final 15 minutes.
Having probably shaded the second half in terms of possession, Eastleigh drew level in the 77th minute; Constable creating space for himself before drilling a low shot into the bottom left corner of Farman's net.
City were quick to respond but Robinson was denied a run on goal after a home defender handled the ball. This went unnoticed by the referee though and shortly afterwards Rhead was denied by Poke after connecting with a low Sparrow cross. The City striker needed treatment after taking a knock as he stretched for the ball.
As the clock ticked on Bush blocked a goalbound Constable effort before a City counter-attack saw Nolan win a corner which was cleared. Beevers then denied Reason with a great piece of defending.
Four additional minutes was indicated as Nolan won a free-kick midway inside the Eastleigh half but when this was cleared a swift Eastleigh counter-attack ended up with the hosts winning a corner which Rhead headed away.
City then broke at pace and when Robinson released Nolan, he was through on goal only to be dragged to the floor by substitute Green. Out came the red card before Bush drilled the free-kick straight at the Eastleigh wall.
FT: EASTLEIGH 1 IMPS 1