New loan signing Patrick Brough came in for his debut at left-back and with Luke Waterfall out through suspension, Lee Beevers moved into central defence as the Imps looked to get 2016 off to a winning start against an FC Halifax Town side who won 1-0 at Sincil Bank a week ago.
Heavy drizzle and a wet pitch greeted the two teams as they were led out of the tunnel by referee Ian Hussin and it was the Imps who got the game under way.
Both teams took their time to get used to the greasy surface and it wasn't until the fourth minute until an attack of note took place with Jack Muldoon forcing the game's first corner which was cleared by the Town defence.
Halifax's response saw Kevin Roberts force Paul Farman to tip behind his snap-shot but when the corner came in ex-Imp Hamza Bencherif was penalised for pushing. Five minutes later a second Town corner ended with Bencherif heading well wide at the back post.
Having weathered this slight storm the Imps pieced together a patient move forward and when the ball fell to CRAIG STANLEY 20 yards out he duly rifled in a bullet shot which gave home stopper Sam Johnson no chance between the sticks.
The hosts were quick to respond but Farman came off his line quickly to deny Shaun Tuton and protect the lead whilst at the other end Muldoon had a great chance to double the lead but fired over following a clever back-heel by skipper Alan Power.
Shortly afterwards appeals for hand ball as a City corner came in were waved away before Power sent a low skidding effort just wide. The Imps were made to pay as a quick break forward by the hosts ended with Tuton beating Farman thanks to a cruel deflection.
After the half-hour mark came and went, City forced two more corners but neither threatened the home defence. At the other end there was a scare for City as Roberts flashed an effort across goal after Farman got down well to deny Tuton. Farman then kept out a low Sam Walker drive.
The half petered out with the only highlight being a City corner in added time which like the previous ones during the opening period coming to nothing.
HT: HALIFAX 1 IMPS 1
With rain sweeping down, both teams emerged unchanged for the start of the second half so it was as you were on the player front as Halifax restarted proceedings.
It was a scrappy start to the second half with an offside flag robbing Matt Rhead after Stanley looped in a cross from the right whilst at the other end nine minutes in Brough got in a timely block to deny Nicky Wroe before a Halifax corner was claimed by Farman.
In the 57th minute Callum Howe was forced to clear his lines following a quick break down the Halifax left whilst on the hour mark Conner Robinson for Terry Hawkridge was the Imps' first switch.
Muldoon dragged a low effort across goal and out for goal-kick as he advanced down the middle before Liam Hearn replaced Greg Tempest for City and Conner Hughes came on for Sam Walker for the hosts.
Hearn's return and introduction paid immediate dividends as, after Bencherif failed to get any purchase on a back pass, in nipped the City number 10 and, although Johnson blocked his initial effort, he was on hand to slot the ball home to edge City in front again.
His lengthy celebrations in front of the City fans earned him a caution for delaying the restart and shortly after play resumed, Josh MacDonald replaced Kevin Roberts for Halifax.
The home side looked for a response, forcing a corner before a ball bounced in to the path of Wroe but the Halifax skipper fired against the outside of the post and out for a goal-kick.
With five minutes on the clock solid City defending repelled the hosts and a couple of minutes later Burrow headed a corner inches wide. But with a minute of normal time remaining the bounced around the box and fell kindly for James who fired his side level through a crowded area.
Midway through four additional minutes Rhead was left grounded following an aerial challenge and referee Hussin let play continue for well over a minute before he brought things to a halt giving Kev Oxby the chance to come on and administer treatment.
When Rhead returned he was quickly dragged to the deck again but the free-kick came to nothing as Stanley was penalised for hand ball. This proved to be the last action of a game which City came so close to winning.
FT: HALIFAX 2 IMPS 2