Harriers suffered defeat on the opening day for the second consecutive year as they went down 1-0 at Lincoln City on Saturday.
It was an open beginning between two sides eager to knock the ball around. There was an early delay to proceedings as Callum Gittings picked up some treatment; the first save of the day not being made until Gary Mills' shot, deflected off Exodus Geohaghon, was comfortably gathered by Harriers stopper Danny Lewis.
As the half wore on there was little change to come from the battle in midfield as both sets of defenders stood firm, keen to avoid any early errors. Imps' hit-man Rob Duffy was among the only other early sighters as he looped a volley just over the bar.
With a little over 11 minutes until the interval a novel corner routine from the home side saw the ball played out to Mills who drove his boot at it and send an effort towards goal that sailed wide with Lewis diving for the save.
The opening goal of the game went with the run of play and came with five minutes until the interval – a simple ball looped up field came down in the sun and just the right side of striker Jamie Taylor who wrestled with Mike Williams long enough to get a toe on it and send it looping over Lewis and into the back of the net.
A long Exodus Geohaghon throw was allowed to bounce dangerously in the area by Lincoln at the end of the half and Ryan Rowe almost punished them as he tried to turn it in, though his effort at the far post went just wide.
Harriers threw on Jack Byrne at the break but almost found themselves 2-0 down soon after the re-start as Taylor tangled legs with Ryan Austin and looked to shoot before Lewis came and claimed the ball.
Eight after the re-start Paul Farman was forced into one of his first saves of the afternoon – Austin was teed up from a free kick central to goal and around 20 yards out, his drive kept out well by the goalkeeper who got behind it.
Close to the hour mark Farman was at it again to deny Harriers with a quick-double save, Harrier slowly coming further into the game as a further change was made, Marvin Johnson coming on.
A mass scramble with about 70 on the clock almost got the visitors an equaliser and it was again set off by a Geohaghon thrown – Keith Briggs and Ryan Rowe both had stabs at the cherry but couldn’t find a way past Farman or his defence.
Farman continued to be a fine last line of defence for Lincoln and with just ten left to play he threw himself at Johnson’s near post shot to keep his side in the lead.
Stats - Press Association
Gallery - Ade Hoskins