Guiseley 2 Imps 1Luke Waterfall, Sean Raggett, Alex Woodyard, Nathan Arnold and Theo Robinson all returned to the starting line-up, although Raggett - back after a three-match ban - for Callum Howe was the only change to the side that started in the Imps' last Vanarama National League, namely against Tranmere Rovers, for this Boxing Day clash at Guiseley.
Although the setting sun was shining brightly there was a distinct chill as well as a strong breeze in the air as referee Andrew Miller led the two teams out of the tunnel, and once the pre-match formalities had taken place, the hosts kicked off.
Paul Farman was quickly forced to claim a low effort from Jake Cassidy but the opening stages were very scrappy with the strong wind playing a big part in proceedings.
It wasn't until the eighth minute until the Imps created their first half chance with a Terry Hawkridge cross being headed over by Waterfall, who was up for an earlier throw-in.
The first corner went Guiseley's way in the 11th minute but Matt Rhead was back to clear his lines as the ball came in but it wasn't long before the hosts were pressing forward again and after the ball held up in the wind, Michael Rankine was able to cross and there was Will Hatfield to drill past Farman.
Seven minutes later a superb save by Farman saw him deny Cassidy who found himself one-on-one with the City stopper. The resultant corner was scrambled out for another flag-kick on the opposite flank which the Imps cleared.
City were starting to get more into the game but chances at goal remained at a premium, although this changed in the 27th minute when a long Wood throw found its way to Robinson who saw his volley clip a defender for a corner.
Arnold duly whipped in the set-piece and picked out skipper LUKE WATERFALL who headed powerfully past Maxted to level the scores.
Guiseley looked for a quick response, forcing three corners at the other end before a high boot on Whitehouse by Hatfield earned the Imps a free-kick giving them the chance to calm things down.
Six minutes before the break a spell of City pressure ended with Rhead seeing his chipped centre cleared for a corner and this led to two more on the opposite flank but referee Miller spotted a push when the latter came in and play restarted with a free-kick to the hosts.
In the 43rd minute there was half a chance for Waterfall but he fired over after Rhead knocked down a long Wood throw and a minute later Maxted pulled off a superb finger-tip save to deny Robinson who got in an an excellent header from a Woodyard cross.
The half ended with the Imps on the offensive but the teams were forced to go in for their half-time breather on level terms.
HT: GUISELEY 1 IMPS 1
Both teams emerged unchanged for the start of the second half so it was as you were as the Imps restarted proceedings.
City enjoyed the opening stages of the second period in terms of possession with Robinson almost having a sight of goal five minutes in but the ball got tangled up in his feet as he looked to twist his way into space, giving the hosts the chance to clear.
In the 55th minute a Guiseley free-kick lead to a corner which in turn leads to another on the opposite flank following a good block by Wood. This delivery was claimed well by Farman.
Jack Muldoon replaced Terry Hawkridge in the 58th minute and a minute later Whitehouse was booked for a tug on Williams' shirt. Shortly afterwards a Wood ball down the flank found Robinson who advanced and sees his effort at goal deflect out for a corner.
A scrappy second period continued with both teams struggling with the Boxing Day wind; this changed in the 71st minute when Arnold picked out Rhead with a corner but somehow Maxted kept the ball out with a magnificent one-handed save.
Oli Johnson and Adam Boyes were brought on for Jordan Preston and Jake Cassidy as the hosts made their first changes of the game a minute later.
In the 77th minute Guiseley striker Rankine was lucky to escape with just a yellow after leading with an arm on Raggett but he wasn't so lucky six minutes later when a block on a Farman drop-kick earned him a second caution and out came the red.
City's Whitehouse joined him in the dressing rooms a minute from time following a tussle with Hatfield; the second bookable offence being the harshest of harsh decisions.
To rub salt in the wounds Williams blasted the ball goalwards and with Farman unable to keep the ball out it bobbled, spun and caught the wind before somehow finding its way into the City net.
Adam Marriott replaced Bradley Wood but the four added minutes elapsed very quickly with the last action seeing Alex Purver coming on for Hatfield.
There's a quick chance for City to respond though as the two teams meet again at Sincil Bank on New Year's Day.
FT: GUISELEY 2 IMPS 1
1 Paul FARMAN
2 Bradley WOOD
3 Sam HABERGHAM
4 Elliott WHITEHOUSE
5 Luke WATERFALL
9 Matt RHEAD
11 Terry HAWKRIDGE
25 Sean RAGGETT
28 Nathan ARNOLD
30 Alex WOODYARD
31 Theo ROBINSON
6 Callum HOWE
7 Jack MULDOON (for HAWKRIDGE 58)
8 Alan POWER
10 Adam MARRIOTT (for WOOD 90+2)
14 Taylor MILES
GOAL: WATERFALL (28)
BOOKING: WHITEHOUSE (59)
SENDING OFF: WHITEHOUSE (89)
26 Jonny MAXTED
2 Connor BROWN
3 Danny LOWE
8 Will HATFIELD
11 Michael RANKINE
15 Ashley PALMER
19 Jordan PRESTON
20 Marcus WILLIAMS
24 Simon WALTON
29 Jake CASSIDY
31 James WESOLOWSKI
9 Adam BOYES (for CASSIDY 72)
10 Oli JOHNSON (for PRESTON 72)
17 Dan ATKINSON
22 Alex PURVER (for HATFIELD 90+5)
33 Elliott GREEN
GOALS: HATFIELD (12), WILLIAMS (90)
BOOKING: RANKINE (77)
SENDING OFF: RANKINE (83)
REFEREE: Andrew Miller
ASSISTANTS: Oliver Bickle & Paul Lister
FOURTH OFFICIAL: Joe Starkie
ATTENDANCE: 2,446 (948 City supporters)