Published: 16:50, 13 January 2018
Kane Haysman hit a late winner as Margate handed Bostik Premier leaders Dulwich Hamlet their first defeat since early December.
Before a crowd of 860 - Margte's biggest home league gate of the season - Haysman fired home in the 85th minute to keep alive their play-off hopes and end Hamlet's four-match winning run.
The win was no more than Gate deserved after they weathered a bright opening by the visitors before going toe to toe with them in a game which was in the balance until the end.
Gate went into the game unbeaten in two after following up their 1-1 draw at Billericay with 3-1 home win over Needham Market and boss Steve Watt had the luxury of fielding the same starting XI for the third game running.
As befits a side who were six unbeaten Hamlet began well with wide man Nyren Clunis looking particularly lively.
Nana Boakye-Yiadom provided Gate with their first scare on six minutes when his low cross after a smart turn just eluded Clunis who then pounced on a miscued clearance to whistle a shot wide of the far post with home keeper Sam Sargeant at full stretch
Dulwich saw plenty of the ball early on but the Gate stood firm and gradually grew into the game although they did not get the ball to top scorer Jordan Chiedozie as often as they would have liked.
The first glimpse of the 21-goal Gate top scorer came on 22 minutes when he got to Dave Martin's near post cross before his marker but lifted his shot over.
Three minutes later Clunis won a Hamlet free-kick in a good position but skipper Kenny Beaney's shot was comfortably held at head height by Sargeant
Beaney was then one of two bookings in as many minutes for Hamlet - Ibrahim Kargbo was the other - and as Gate began to grow in confidence Sam Blackman missed the best chance of the half when he glanced a header wide from Martin's cross.
Martin was seeing a lot of the ball and making good use of it and soon after worked a neat one two with Chiedozie who fired wide from the edge of the box.
Gate just needed to start the second half as they finished the first and they did with Haysman seeing a shot blocked and Chiedozie heading wide from Tom Wynter's cross.
However they were almost caught on 51 minutes when Clunis raced clear leaving two defenders in his wake but Sargeant spread himself well to save with his foot.
Gate skipper James Rogers then saw a dangerous low cross cleared and at the other end Hamlet's Boakye-Yiadom produced another fine turn and cross but but no one was in a position to capitalise.
Hamlet keeper Preston Edwards was forced into flying action just after the hour when he punched clear a Martin free-kick and Collin was just inches away from applying a decisive touch to Blackman's long-range effort.
Both sides kept looking for a winner with Hamlet's best opening falling to substitute Nathan Ferguson who had a free header but directed his effort straight at Sargeant who looked solid all afternoon.
Ben Swift miskicked after the ball had broken to him from the second of three Gate successive corners before the decisive moment when Haysman fired home after Liam Friend's shot had been charged down and the ball rolled into his path.
Margate: Sargeant, Evans, Wynter, Rogers, Friend, Swift, Haysman, Blackman, Chiedozie, Collin (Prescott 71mins), Martin; Subs: Lee, Bodkin, Sollis, Bray
Dulwich Hamlet: Edwards, Taylor (Faal 90mins), Green, Onovwigun, Weatherstone, Chambers, Clunis, Kargbo (Ferguson 63mins), Boakye-Yiadom, Beaney (Carew 63mins), Ming; Subs: Guimares, Hayles.
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