One-time Accrington trialist Jason Walker got a measure of revenge on the club who rejected him by scoring the winner on Tuesday night.
The York City striker was twice on summer trials during John Coleman’s reign but never won a Stanley contract.
He went on to be prolific at Barrow before York snapped him up and his scrappy goal was the difference in what could prove to be Paul Cook’s last game in charge.
The Reds also had keeper Ian Dunbavin to thank for a string of saves and Dean Winnard for hooking a Walker effort off the line.
But, at the other end, Padraig Amond will be kicking himself that his free header did not find the target at a time when Stanley just needed that little bit of luck to turn the corner after a string of poor results.
"Jason is a gifted player who, whether for budgets or personal reasons, didn’t get signed up here when he came on trial but he will score goals," said assistant Leam Richardson, who took the after-match press conference.
"The game could have gone either way. Teams go on good and bad runs in a season and it’s up to us to pick ourselves up and for the lads to learn from their mistakes.
"We asked for a reaction after Saturday’s 5-0 loss to Oxford where there were no excuses and we got it as we showed energy, commitment and desire but just didn’t have the rub of the green.
"Things dictate games and we felt they should have been down to 10 men early on and sometimes referees affect the game."
This was when a high, dangerous tackle on Peter Murphy by Daniel Parslow left the defender curled up on the floor but referee Darren Drysdale only showed a yellow card.
After that it was a hectic midfield battle with City creating the better chances.
Matty Blair’s 20-yard strike wasn’t far off the bottom corner of the net while striker Walker tricked his way past Michael Liddle but his effort was blocked by George Miller.
City appealed that former Burnley defender Clarke Carlisle’s scrambled shot was over line as Dunbavin dived low but the ref was having none of it.
At the other end, Lee Molyneux, playing on the left wing, had a cross fingertipped over by keeper Michael Ingham while striker Amond was unmarked from Rommy Boco’s cross – but somehow didn’t find the target.
In a lively end to the first half, Dunbavin kept out Blair’s deflected blast from 18 yards while Walker burst through. Dunbavin denied him but it needed Winnard to get back and hook the ball off the line to keep it goalless at the interval.
After the break, Stanley put their bodies on the line as York looked for a breakthrough and a Danny Kearns volley wasn’t far off on 65 minutes.
York were creating the better chances but it looked like it would peter out to a goalless draw until Walker finished a scrappy move.
The ball ping-ponged around the area with no Stanley man able to properly clear and it rebounded to Walker in front of goal and he finished well.
Miller and Amond both found the side netting late on as the Reds looked for an equaliser but Stanley were once again counting the cost of a mistake which cost them at least a point.