MANAGER Gary Whild felt Kidderminster Harriers could have won their opening game of the Vanarama Conference following the 0-0 draw with Lincoln City at Sincil Bank.

The Aggborough outfit produced a determined defensive display in the first-half to keep the hosts at bay.

They then had the best of the second period with City keeper Nick Townsend in inspired form.

“You don’t want to lose on the first day of the season or lose away from home,” said Whild.

“In the second-half we were the better team and if you look at the work their goalkeeper has had to do throughout the game, he has pulled off three or four excellent saves.”

Whild handed starts to summer signings Jared Hodgkiss, Ahmed Obeng and Craig Reid, as well as Kevin Nicholson, who joined the club on a non-contract basis on Thursday.

He kept faith with striker Nathan Blissett, but the visitors suffered a setback when midfielder Jack Byrne pulled out with a knock and was replaced by Aman Verma.

Reid came closest to scoring for Harriers with a well-hit first-half effort and an even better 30-yard strike in the 52nd minute which forced the impressive Townsend into action.

Lincoln’s Marcus Marshall squandered a chance to win the match in the 90th minute, firing across the face of goal.

But the Harriers manager was also pleased with the performances of substitutes Michael Gash, Reece Styche and Marvin Johnson, who enhanced the visitors’ second-half potency.

Whild said: “Craig didn’t have too much of the ball in the first-half but he worked the keeper with a magnificent shot.

“In the second-half I thought he had done enough to score but their keeper made a difficult save look very easy. I thought we looked fit and should have scored from a well-worked free-kick move.

“With Nathan and Craig we set our stall out to defend from the front and it is nice to be in a position to bring the likes of Michael on.”

Harriers: Lewis, Hodgkiss, Gowling, Dunkley, Nicholson, Verma, Storer, Gittings, Obeng (Johnson 51), Blissett (Styche 74), Reid (Gash 63). Subs not used: Grimes, Singh.

Attendance: 2,598.