There were three changes to the City starting line-up for this local derby against Grimsby Town at Sincil Bank Stadium with Alan Power in for Matt Sparrow, Bradley Wood in for Chris Bush and Nat Brown in Callum Howe who was absent with an ankle injury.
With the Imps attacking the Stacey West Stand from the off, Grimsby got the game underway and were quickly on the offensive, a swift second minute counter-attack ending with Wood getting in a great block to deny Omar Bogle.
Another Town corner immediately followed and after an almighty goalmouth scramble, visiting defender Shaun Pearson fired well over Paul Farman's bar from 12 yards out. City's response saw a long Wood throw lead to City's first corner which ended up seeing Jack Muldoon drive an effort over.
In the 13th minute Nathan Arnold fired well wide for Town following a quiet spell in the game and things calmed down again afterwards with play concentrated in the middle third and littered with stoppages.
It wasn't until the 24th minute when the next half-chance came along; Bogle releasing Padraig Amond but brave goalkeeping from Farman saw the City stopper pull off a superb save with his face. Before the resultant throw-in was taken, Farman needed treatment from physio Kev Oxby.
Drama ensued shortly before the half-hour mark when, after a Power free-kick into the box, given after Rhead was flattened by Pearson, was cleared, an off-the-ball incident involving Rhead and ex-Imp Josh Gowling left the City man on the floor again. Referee Bennett spotted this and, after awarding the Imps a penalty, out came a red card.
Once things calmed down, up stepped RHEAD a couple of minutes later to neatly send James McKeown the wrong way from the spot.
Grimsby were quick to make a change with defender Aristote Nsiala replacing midfielder Matt Robinson and were quick to response with Lee Beevers cleaing a dangerous cross form the left before Brown cleared one from the right.
In the last minute of normal time a quick City attack saw Robinson and Nolan combine before the latter won a corner. Taken by skipper Power, it was met by Brown who saw his header fly just wide.
The only incident of note during four additional minutes saw Andy Monkhouse clatter into Farman following a Grimsby free-kick into the mix.
HT: IMPS 1 GRIMSBY 0
Neither side made any further changes prior to the start of the second half so it was as you were as the Imps restarted proceedings.
A foul on Bogle by Waterfall saw a 51st minute Grimsby free-kick lead to the first corner of the second half but after Wood cleared lines, Robinson brought the ball forward only to be penalised for a foul.
Grimsby forced another corner five minutes later which was cleared out for a throw-in by Beevers at the back post; this coming before Matt Sparrow replaced Jack Muldoon for the Imps.
Town skipper Craig Disley was deservedly booked in the 64th minute after leaving a foot in on Rhead; the card coming after a City advantage came to nothing before Beevers played the ball out for a throw-in.
A couple of minutes later Sparrow was booked for delaying the taking of a Town throw-in and when the throw did come in City failed to clear their lines and gave Bogle the chance to level matters.
Alex Simmons replaced Conner Robinson a couple of minutes after this set-back before Nolan had an effort saved on the line at the second attempt by McKeown. A 76th minute Beevers challenge on Bogle was then deemed worthy of a yellow card by referee Bennett.
Substitute Simmons carved out a half-chance with 10 minutes on the clock but his chip from a narrowing angle went over the bar. At the other end Farman was at full stretch to tip behind a low Disley effort.
In the 86th minute Elliot Hodge replaced Alan Power and two minutes later Simmons had a snap-shot held by McKeown. Jack Mackreth and Jon Paul Pittman then replaced Nathan Arnold & Omar Bogle for the visitors just before a minimum of three added minutes was indicated.
In the first of these additional minutes Waterfall cleared an Amond cross whilst the game came to an end as Wood hurled a throw into the Town box.
FT: IMPS 1 GRIMSBY 1
1 Paul FARMAN
2 Bradley WOOD
4 Craig STANLEY
5 Luke WATERFALL
7 Jack MULDOON
8 Alan POWER
9 Matt RHEAD
11 Jon NOLAN
14 Conner ROBINSON
18 Lee BEEVERS
23 Nat BROWN
6 Chris BUSH
16 Alex SIMMONS
17 Elliot HODGE
21 Matt SPARROW
13 Aidan GRANT
6 Chris BUSH
16 Alex SIMMONS (for ROBINSON 69)
17 Elliot HODGE (for POWER 86)
21 Matt SPARROW (for MULDOON 59)
13 Aidan GRANT
GOAL: RHEAD (32 pen)
BOOKINGS: SPARROW (66), BEEVERS (76)
1 James McKEOWN
3 Gregor ROBERTSON
5 Shaun PEARSON
6 Josh GOWLING
8 Craig DISLEY
9 Omar BOGLE
10 Padraig AMOND
11 Andy MONKHOUSE
20 Nathan ARNOLD
23 Daniel EAST
25 Matt ROBINSON
7 Jack MACKRETH (for ARNOLD 90)
14 Marcus MARSHALL
16 Craig CLAY
18 Jon Paul PITTMAN (for BOGLE 90)
22 Aristote NSIALA (for ROBINSON 34)
GOAL: BOGLE (66)
BOOKING: DISLEY (63)
SENDING OFF: GOWLING (29)
REFEREE: Simon Bennett
ASSISTANTS: Paul Brown & Dean Chapman
FOURTH OFFICIAL: Rebecca Welch
ATTENDANCE: 5,849 (1,734 visiting supporters)