A new-look City squad welcomed National League new boys Cheltenham Town to a sunny Sincil Bank Stadium for this 2015/16 season opener.
City kicked off attacking the Bridge McFarland Stand and were quickly on the attack with Matt Rhead having a snap-shot held well by Dillon Phillips in the opening minute.
Cheltenham's response saw Danny Wright head into Paul Farman's gloves before the Imps' stopper got down to claim a low Jack Munns drive. Appeals for a Town penalty as Billy Waters went down in the box were then waved away by referee Rob Jones.
At the other end, and just into the 12th minute, Rhead flicked on a long Bradley Wood throw-in but the ball bounced just wide as Alex Simmons loitered at the back post whilst Cheltenham's response saw Waters gain space on the right only to be denied by Farman who came quickly off his line to block with his chest.
Shortly after the quarter-hour mark skipper Alan Power saw a snap-shot go wide whilst a couple of minutes later good work from Alex Simmons on the left saw him win the season's first corner which was taken deep by Power and headed into Phillips' gloves by Callum Howe.
Power was then inches away from connecting with a superb Matt Sparrow cross but after withstanding this spell of pressure, Cheltenham opened the scoring in the 26th minute; Munns following up after his initial effort was blocked by Farman; the ball falling kindly for the Town number 11 who slotted home from inside the box. The scorer was booked before play resumed after over-celebrating his goal.
City looked for a quick response with Muldoon having an effort blocked by a covering defender on the line before the debutant curled an effort wide. At the other end a superb save from Farman with his left boot saw him keep out Harry Pell following a sweeping Cheltenham attack forward.
Munns, already on a caution, went to ground easily in the box in the 34th minute but referee Jones was happy for play to continue after waving away Munns' appeals for a penalty and City's appeals for a dive.
A 40th minute corner to City was headed on to the roof of the net by Luke Waterfall and three minutes later Sparrow was denied by a fine Phillips save low to his left with the resultant corner cleared for a throw-in.
The half ended with both Rhead and Howe requiring treatment; the former after he was caught by Aaron Downes arm and the latter after a clash with Amari Morgan-Smith.
HT: IMPS 0 CHELTENHAM 1
The teams emerged unchanged following the break and it was Cheltenham who were the first to press, winning a corner which Waterfall cleared before Morgan-Smith fired well at an angle.
Farman then tippe a low Pell drive behind for a corner with City's response seeing Muldoon win a corner at the other end and after the ball was kept alive Rhead cushioned a header into the path of Waterfall who saw his snap-shot superbly kept out by Phillips.
After Muldoon was caught by Downes' arm, Munns won a corner which came to nothing. Liam Hearn then replaced Alex Simmons for the Imps in the 65th minute and was quickly in the action, winning a free-kick on the left.
With 20 minutes on the clock a Craig Stanley free-kick lead to a corner on the left but nothing came from the set-piece; Jon Nolan then replaced Matt Sparrow in midfield.
Nolan was quickly involved in a move which ended up with Rhead winning a corner and when Power fizzed in the delivery from the quadrant there was LIAM HEARN who headed powerfully past Phillips for the equaliser.
Four minutes after this leveller, good work from Nolan saw him win another corner but Town managed to defend this one. Joe Hanks then replaced Harry Pell for the visitors and three minutes later Asa Hall came on for Amari Morgan-Smith.
Play continued towards three additional minutes; the first of which seeing Elliot Hodge replace the sponsors' man of the match Jack Muldoon for his home debut. The youngster hardly had chance to get involved before referee Jones brought play to a close.
FT: IMPS 1 CHELTENHAM 1