Colin Larkin's late penalty earned 10-man Lincoln victory against Dartford.
Vadaine Oliver headed the Imps in to an early lead before Jake Sheridan saw red for a heavy challenge on Lee Noble.
Dartford made their numerical advantage count and drew level when Noble's curling strike found the bottom corner.
But their hard work was undone when Dominic Green tripped Jake Jones in the area, and Larkin stepped up to chip the spot-kick home and secure all three points for Lincoln.
VIEWS FROM THE DRESSING ROOM
Lincoln City manager David Holdsworth told BBC Radio Lincolnshire:
"It was a good start for us but the referee lost the plot today, he spoiled the game. Jake's an honest boy and it was never a two-footed challenge. It was a poor decision.
"I've been in this situation before and the important thing is to keep your discipline. We may have gone more defensive but I felt it was important to be bold.
"We could have kept the ball better at times but keeping our shape was important as was using our professionalism and I felt the players listened well and I'm delighted for them.
"We hit the crossbar twice and had a couple cleared off the line. Sometimes you have to earn your luck and today we had to earn our three points."