Barnet returned from Sincil Bank empty handed because they were unable to turn the superiority they enjoyed for much of the game into goals. A rare error by Jake Cole in the Bees gifted the home side their goal in the second period to consign Barnet to an opening day defeat.
Barnet took the game to the home side from the off. Mark Hughes and Micah Hyde as a pair were combative and constructive in central midfield and kept the ball moving out wide where Albert Jarrett on the left and Yannick Bolasie on the right had the skill and pace to worry the Imps defence.
The first half showed Barnet at their best. The side displayed confidence and aggression, but if the mission to Lincolnshire was to return with a point or three chances needed to be converted into goals.
After Hughes had gone close with a header and a drive from long distance, on the half hour mark ex-Bee Rob Burch in the Lincoln goal produced a save from the top drawer to deny Bolasie with a finger tip save from a well struck effort from the edge of the box.
As half time approached Bolasie seemed to have won a penalty when Joe Heath appeared to fell the Barnet winger inside the box, but referee Trevor Kettle waved play on.
In the 68th minute the home side took the lead. A long floated free kick was won by the burly centre-back Janos Kovacs who headed against a post and reacted first to scramble the ball home. Cole uncharacteristically had mis-judged the flight of the cross and was man enough to hold up his hands post match to the other players in the dressing room.
The goal boosted the Imps and they then had a spell in which they tried to extend their lead with Jamie Clarke and Paul Connor both going close to doubling the home sides advantage.
A Paul Furlong header from a Bolasie corner almost brought the Bees level but the home side, with Burch looking good value kept at bay the Bees despite an array of half chances being created.
Barnet could well have won this match if they had taken their opportunities when they were the better team. Crucially they did not and over the course of a match a side, particularly a home side, will create chances of their own and it was this was the undoing of Barnet at sunny Sincil Bank.
Far, far soon to be despondent in any way, this was a decent all-round performance that on any other day may well have put points on the board.
The Bees are at home to the Hornets from Watford on Tuesday in the 1st Round of the Carling Cup.