Hard working Beavers left Blue
The Beavers took on title favourites Margate and nearly came home with a point on a breezy afternoon in Kent.
However, Lewis Taylor's 77th minute header snatched the win for the Blues, who found the resolute and determined Beavers difficult to break down, with debutant keeper Warren Carter showing his class and ability, keeping the team in the game on numerous occasions.
The Beavers had the first chance with Ben Harris narrowly firing a free kick over the bar, from just outside the box. A few moments later, ex-Beaver Ryan Moss fired a free kick of his own right at Carter, who saved easily.
Carter had to stand tall on 11 minutes as Prior's diving header forced a strong save, gathering the ball at the second attempt.
With not even 15 minutes on the watch, Carter again had to pull off another save, this time from Stuart; his first shot was beaten away by the keeper, the midfielder's second attempt then flew wide.
Despite these alarms, the Beavers weren't being outplayed, and Jesse Kewley-Graham took advantage of some slack play by Margate to take possession of the ball in midfield; however, his attempt on goal wasn't enough to worry Nikki Bull in the Blues goal.
Just a minute later, the Beavers created their best chance to date as a long Tommy Brewer pass fell into the path of Ben Harris, but the striker dragged his shot well wide.
Margate always looked like they would create chances and Moore's shot on 32 minutes forced Carter into another save, parrying the shot away beyond the players following up.
Ben Harris was causing his own brand of mischief in a lone role up front, and in doing so won a free kick, right on the edge of the box. The kick came to nothing as Justyn Roberts' shot hit the wall and went clear.
Inside the first minute, the Beavers could've taken the lead as Karle Carder won a free kick on the edge of the box; Ben Harris stepped up to clip the shot, but it flicked of a defender and went wide.
Margate were starting to take advantage of the wind, but they couldn't break through, with Rents having a shot deflected wide by Billy Jeffreys and Stuart firing wide.
The Beavers were finding it harder than before to create chances and it was the home team who were looking likeliest to score as Moore and Taylor both spurned chances just after the hour; Warren Carter denying Moore, and Taylor firing wide.
It was starting to look as if it might be the Beavers day as Moss missed the easiest chance of the match so far on 69 minutes; working a bit of space, he met Rents cross at the back post with a powerful header, but the direction didn't match the power and it went wide.
The introduction of Charlie Moone and Richard Butler changed the dynamic of the team, and Butler managed to force a save out of Bull on 75 minutes, but Margate finally got the goal they felt they deserved two minutes later as Taylor met a flighted cross at the back post, his header giving the outstanding Carter no chance.
Carter was clearly the busier keeper, and within 5 minutes left, he had to dash out to block Attwood's shot and then stood up to prevent Williams in quick succession as Margate looked for a second.
With the final whistle due, the Beavers managed to win a corner and taking a chance, Carter went up as the extra attacker. He won the header, but a Margate defender was in the way and it bounced clear, the referee then blowing the final whistle.
Margate (0) 1
Hampton & Richmond Borough (0) 0
Margate: 1 Nikki Bull, 2 Anthony Riviere, 3 Sam Rents, 4 Charlie Allen, 5 Jamie Stuart, 6 Brett Johnson, 7 Lewis Taylor, 8 Kane Wills, 9 Ryan Moss, 10 Jason Prior, 11 Luke Moore
Subs: 12 Luke Williams, 13 Tom Beadle, 14 Tom Phipp, 15 Zac Attwood, 16 Jack Bennett
Yellow cards: Rents, Allen, Stuart, Johnson
Hampton & Richmond Borough: 1 Warren Carter, 2 Tommy Brewer, 3 Matt Steer, 4 Max Hustwick, 5 Billy Jeffreys, 6 Justyn Roberts (Hassan Ibrahim 59'), 7 Jesse Kewley-Graham, 8 Karle Carder, 9 Ben Harris (12 Charlie Moone 66'), 10 Luke Wanadio, 11 Jerome Federico (14 Richard Butler 66')
Subs: 12 Charlie Moone, 14 Richard Butler, 15 Michael Bryan, 16 Hassan Ibrahim, 17 Reece Brewster
Yellow cards: Harris