Manager Nikki Bull was forced into changes again after Brett Johnson missed out through injury while the returning Alex Osborn could only make the bench as Yado Mambo partnered Manny Parry in the back four.
Margate just couldn’t get into this cup tie and despite Matthew Johnson trying to force something it was a relatively easy first half for former Chelsea and Millwall goalkeeper Lenny Pidgeley in the Hastings United goal.
Nikki Bull was sure to fire is players up for the second half as they faced exiting the cup to lower league opposition but the second half started very much the same as the first with the Blues creating very little with Elliott Buchanan going closest with a header over the bar.
The Gate’s evening went from bad to worse in the 55th minute as Lewis Ward punched Sam Cruttwell’s corner into his own goal to double the visitors lead and give them one foot in the 4th qualifying round.
Further chances for former Margate Midfielder Matt Bodkin and Simon Johnson could have extended Hastings United’s lead but it was the home side who were handed a lifeline in the 77th minute as Matt Johnson saw his long range effort beat Pidgeley to half the deficit.
Hastings United almost doubled their advantage again straight away as on-loan Maidstone United Alex Akrofi raced through but saw his effort roll wide of the wide post.
Despite being second best for the majority of the game Margate snatched an equaliser in the 86th minute as Manny Parry spun in the box and rifled home to earn the Blues a replay.
Bull’s side almost won in the 90th minute as Chris Sessegnon raced down the right before seeing his effort go just inches wide of the far post.