FC Halifax Town face an FA Cup replay on Tuesday night to see if they can make the first round proper after a spirited draw at Conference Premier side Lincoln City.
The Shaymen had some glorious chances to win the game at Sincil Bank, and couldn’t have got much closer to scoring than Gareth Seddon’s thumping 25 yard drive which smacked against the underside of the bar in the first half.
Scott McManus, Jon Worthington, Jason St Juste and Lee Gregory - who was inches away from winning it with three minutes to go - all had chances as the Shaymen dominated for long periods.
But they also need some resolute defending and had Matt Glennon to thank for a brilliant second half save from City skipper Gary Mills to keep Town in it.
David Morgan was sent off in injury time after a foul which left Ryan Toulson in a heap, and Town will hope to get the job done in Tuesday’s replay at the Shay as they look to progress to round one.
Neil Aspin made three changes from the side beaten at home to Boston last weekend as Town changed to a 3-5-2 system, with Phil Bolland, Scott McManus and Gareth Seddon replacing Simon Hackney, Jason St Juste and the suspended Dale Johnson.
Town started the game brightly and dominated the opening exchanges, creating their first chance on nine minutes which Gregory headed straight at Imps keeper Paul Farman.
Gregory was involved in Town’s second chance too - this time inadvertently blocking Jon Worthington’s low drive which rebounded clear.
The game came to life in the 23rd minute when first Andrew Boyce headed harmlessly over Matt Glennon’s goal, before an onslaught at the other end.
Scott McManus saw his back post header kept out by Farman at the second attempt after Toulson’s tempting delivery following a short corner, and sixty second later Farman produced a brilliant save at full stretch to keep out Gregory’s half volley which looked destined for the bottom corner.
A minute after that, Seddon stepped in from the left hand side and smashed a 25-yarded off the underside of the bar with Farman beaten and the Shaymen piled on the pressure.
But there was a warning at the other end from the very next attack - Liam Hogan’s headed clearance striking his own cross bar after Adam Smith’s cross as the hosts sought a goal of their own.
Town responded though, and Seddon and Gregory linked up wonderfully on the edge of the box to produce a chance for Chris Worsley which went wide before Seddon’s prodded effort was rightly ruled out for offside.
Town’s final chance of the half fell to Worthington, who headed a McManus cross agonisingly wide as he and Ryan Toulson competed for the same ball, and there was still time for a Lincoln chance before the break when Tom Miller headed over at the back post.
The hosts started the second half much brighter and had chances through Smith, Gary Mills and Dan Gray - with Smith’s low cross across the face of goal the most dangerous.
Town should have gone ahead at the other end though - first Seddon saw his shot saved by Farman at a tight angle, and then Marshall’s curling cross was inches beyond the diving Worthington.
Hogan had to be alive to the danger as he headed clear from almost under his own cross bar just after the hour and just after that Town needed a last ditch block from Worsley to stop sub David Morgan firing the Imps ahead.
McManus was almost responsible for a bizarre own goal after he cleared the ball from a yard out straight into Glennon, but the ball rebounded behind for a corner - and from it the Lincoln fans thought their team had scored but the referee deemed the ball not to have crossed the line as Town defenders desperately tried to keep out Smith’s lopping effort.
Glennon was called into action on 70 minutes as he produced a wonderful point blank save to keep his side in it as Town began to tire.
But they still looked to hit City on the break, and could have scored with just over 15 minutes to go when sub Jason St Juste fired high and wide at full stretch at the back post after Gregory’s low cross.
Morgan’s late red was in stark contrast to a fair and well contested game, as the game ended level.
Lincoln City: Farman, Bore, Boyce, Miller, Gilbert (Nutter, 22 mins), Mills, Gray, Smith, Nicolau (Morgan, 62 mins) Taylor, Robinson (Larkin, 46 mins) Unused subs: Power, Hutchison, Fofana, Turner.
FC Halifax Town: Glennon, Toulson, McManus, Hogan, Bolland, Lowe, Worsley (St Juste, 72 mins), Marshall, Worthington, Gregory, Seddon (Hackney, 82 mins). Unused subs: Senior
Attendance: 1,940 (505 away)