Report - Matt Wall
Stats - Press Association
A superb Tuesday night performance at Lincoln City's Sincil Bank saw Harriers awarded with their first points of the new campaign courtesy of a 1-0 success.
It was clear from the off that both sides were determined to keep the ball on the deck in this one and there was some early action at both ends - Lincoln having the first opening as Harriers lost possession; Kyle Perry getting his boot to the ball from 12 yards and forcing Daniel Lewis into a routine save.
With 12 on the clock Harriers went close from a set-play opportunity - a neat ball lofted into the area by Kyle Storer found the head of Marc Williams from distance who powered a header towards the target that a scrambling Joe Anyon managed to palm on to the post, his defence then able to clear.
Seven minutes later, however, the visitors were fortunate not to be punished for a momentary lapse of concentration as they stopped as a unit expecting the award of a free-kick that never came. On the edge of the area Lincoln's Sam Smith had carried on with his run and was presented with a fantastic chance on goal only to fire across the face of goal with plenty of time to have taken a touch.
It was pretty end-to-end stuff and an entertaining enough affair; with a quarter hour to go until half time Harriers had another chance as Steve Guinan found himself unmarked and in on goal as a deep cross was lifted towards him - his header was good but straight down the throat of Anyon who held well.
Six minutes later it was the visitors again causing problems - the Imps' defence seemed content to sit off Marc Williams as he picked up the ball and advanced on Anyon - with no challenge forthcoming he quite rightly sensed a chance to shoot and did so from around 20 yards, a rising effort that the goalkeeper tipped wide.
With just over a couple of minutes to go until the break it was finally a breakthrough for Harriers - a deserved lead for a good spell of pressure as another Storer delivery was whipped into the box and into a mayhem of bodies; Callum Gittings appearing to be the one on the spot to deflect the ball past Anyon and into the back of the net.
Into stoppage time and it could have been two - Nick Wright turned the Lincoln defence superbly and raced away towards goal. Mirror images of his run against Gateshead on Saturday indeed; but this time he fed the ball to his strike partner Guinan who took a touch before drilling a ball goalwards and forcing Anyon into yet another stop.
Much like the first, Lincoln began the second period the brighter of the two sides and with nine minutes after the re-start they had a great chance to draw level as Tony Sinclair whipped a well-timed ball into the area and towards the unmarked Perry - with no-one around him the ex-Tamworh man should have done much, much better than dragging an effort well wide of Lewis' target.
Pressure began to mount around the hour and Harriers did well to relieve some of that by going close to a second goal - Tom Marshall getting contact to a drilled free-kick into the area and James Vincent lofting a ball just over the target.
With a quarter hour to go there was a wholesale treble change from the home side as they looked to find a away through; Harriers, too, with a switch as Jamille Matt came on for Steve Guinan.
Just after that, against the run of play it was Steve Burr's men who came close to doubling their lead - Storer with yet another fine delivery from a free-kick as Anyon was again forced into action with a smart parry.
Up at the other and and with just minutes to go, Perry could and should have done better with another chance as he was given time to turn in the area; his effort going off target once more.
Harriers came within inches of putting the game to bed and beyond doubt when in injury time Vincent wriggled free inside the area and shot at Anyon - the save yet again was excellent but the ball spilled free to Marc Williams who would have surely though he'd been gifted with a tap-in, an excellent, sublime defensive block at the last the only thing to deny him.