City began life back in National League South with a well earned draw at Margate, but were left ruing missing a second half penalty which would have given them all three points.
After an even opening 45 minutes at a sweltering Hartsdown Park, the home side took the lead early in the second half when Danny Green netted with a near post header from Nathan Green's deep cross.
But City were back on level terms 15 minutes later, when summer signing Aaron Dawson headed home from man of he match Isaac Vassell's cross.
The visitors then wasted a golden chance 11 minutes from time to take the lead when they were awarded a penalty, which saw the Kent club's David Hunt sent off for bringing down Vassell.
But Ed Palmer saw his spot kick comfortably saved by home keeper Nikki Bull diving to his left.
In a frantic finale, both sides could have stolen a winner with Coody Cooke hitting the bar for City and Ryan Moss heading against the post for Margate, but in the end honours ended even leaving the visitors to contemplate what could have been on the long trip home.
However, City boss Steve Tully was delighted with his team's display.
He said: "I was delighted with the performance and we deserved to win the game against a side with one of the biggest budgets in the league. I thought we were outstanding in the second-half and showed great spirit."
MARGATE: Bull (capt); Wilson, N Green, Hunt, Goodman, Johnson, Taylor, Taiwo (Moore 75), Moss, Jolley (Wills 82), D Green. Subs (not used): Cash, Taylor, Rents.
Red card: Hunt (79),
Yellow cards: D Green (19), B Johnson (86).
CITY: Rice; White (Brett 75), Farkins, Palmer, Riley-Lowe; Dawson,, Ash (capt), Krac (Cooke 60), Green; Vassell. Wright (Duff 83). Subs (not used): Pugh, Afful.
Yellow cards: Farkins (18), Palmer (51).
Goals: D Green (50) 1-0, Dawson (65) 1-1.
Referee: Paul Kelly
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