Imps 1 Harriers 2Having gone six games with the same starting line-up, City boss Chris Moyses made four changes for this Vanarama National League home game against bottom-placed Kidderminster Harriers.
Out through injury were James Caton and Jamie McCombe and with Lee Beevers and Greg Tempest dropping to the bench there were recalls for Luke Waterfall and Matt Sparrow whilst loanees Courtey Wildin and Robbie McDaid were handed their first starts for the Club.
There was a distinct chill in the air as referee Jason Whiteley led the two teams out of the tunnel and once the pre-match formalities were done and dusted play got under way with Harriers kicking off.
There was an early chance for City following a long first minute Bradley Wood throw-in but Sparrow fired straight at debutant 'keeper Max O'Leary. The loanee stopper then claimed a Terry Hawkridge corner at full stretch.
At the other end Ben Whitfield fired into the side netting before he tried his luck from range but his effort flew over Paul Farman's bar; this was the last action for some time as things became very scrappy with neither keeper troubled and misplaced passes from both sides a regular occurence.
In to the second quarter and Waterfall flicked away a Harriers corner and at the other end, after Jack Muldoon had won a corner on the City right, Waterfall kept Hawkridge's delivery alive before Matt Rhead saw his header claimed by O'Leary.
City's next foray forward, in the 27th minute, saw them take the lead; Rhead knocked down a Hawkridge cross and there with a crisp low finish was JACK MULDOON for his second goal of the week.
The Imps went in search of a quick second but McDaid flicked a Wood cross wide of the target and in the 35th minute Hawkridge was hacked down by Lewis Kinsella who picked up a deserved yellow card.
Rhead had a snap shot blocked by Keith Lowe and Muldoon fired a rasping drive just over as the Imps pressed forward again before the break; O'Leary also claimed a 25-yard McDaid free-kick as the ball headed towards the top corner of his net.
HT: IMPS 1 HARRIERS 0
Whilst the Imps emerged unchanged, James McQuilkin replaced Evan Garnett for Kidderminster prior to the start of the second half
The first incident after the break saw Muldoon take a knock to the face after crashing in to Williams and whilst he was grounded in the Harriers' half, the visitors broke with Whitfield blazing well wide when in a good position.
Muldoon returned after treatment from Kev Oxby before substitute McQuilkin fired over from range. Lee Beevers then replaced Terry Hawkridge in the 58th minute with Bradley Wood pushing into midfield as a result.
Farman tipped behind a 62nd minute Whitfield effort which was Harriers' first shot on target and three minutes later the pair were in action again when an excellent passage of play from the visitors endsed with the striker heading into the keeper's gloves.
George Maris replaced Matt Sparrow in the 69th minute and three minutes later a Waterfall block on Arthur Gnahoua gave the visitors a free-kick 25 yards out. Up stepped McQuilkin who gave Farman no chance with a superb strike which flew into the top corner for the leveller.
A Snap-shot from Maris was held well by O'Leary as City looked for a quick reaponse before Jordan Jones replaced Jared Hodgkiss for Harriers for the closing 11 minutes.
City had a glorious chance to regain the lead when Maris picked out McDaid at the back post but the Northern Ireland U21 international fired over when it seemed easier to score and within a minute they were made to pay for it; a quick counter-attack from Kidderminster and after Farman kept out a Whitfield effort the ball bounced straight to McQuilkin who headed home.
In the 88th minute a foul on Muldoon by Langmead gae the Imps a free-kick in a dangerous position and when Power chipped in the ball in, the Harriers' defence got in a number of blocks to preserve their lead.
Muldoon was then flattened from behind by Ousmane Fane who picked up a caution and in the first of four added minutes Zaine Francis-Angol replaced Ben Whitfield for the visitors.
The last action of the game came in the shape of a couple of City corners but despite he presence of Farman in the Harriers box, the visitors held firm with O'Leary holding a low Bush drive to secure the points.
FT: IMPS 1 HARRIERS 2
1 Paul FARMAN
2 Bradley WOOD
5 Luke WATERFALL
6 Chris BUSH
7 Jack MULDOON
8 Alan POWER
9 Matt RHEAD
12 Terry HAWKRIDGE
19 Robbie McDAID
21 Matt SPARROW
24 Courtney WILDIN
3 Greg TEMPEST
16 Alex SIMMONS
18 Lee BEEVERS (for HAWKRIDGE 58)
29 George MARIS (for SPARROW 69)
13 Aidan GRANT
GOAL: MULDOON (27)
1 Max O’LEARY
2 Jared HODGKISS
4 Luke MAXWELL
5 Kelvin LANGMEAD
9 Evan GARNETT
11 Arthur GNAHOUA
17 Lewis KINSELLA
21 Tyrone WILLIAMS
24 Ousmane FANE
29 Keith LOWE
34 Ben WHITFIELD
10 Omari PATRICK
18 Jordan JONES (for HODGKISS 79)
27 Zaine FRANCIS-ANGOL (for WHITFIELD 90+1)
36 James McQUILKIN (for GARNETT h/t)
13 Dean SNEDKER
GOAL: McQUILKIN (72, 83)
BOOKINGS: KINSELLA (35), FANE (90)
REFEREE: Jason Whiteley
ASSISTANTS: Tom Hancock & Paul Burnham
FOURTH OFFICIAL: Sean Feerick
ATTENDANCE: 2,178 (77 visiting supporters)