FORGET the scuffle between the managers - the lasting memory of the Aldershot game will be Paul Howarth's delight at scoring Stanley's fourth goal.
The 22-year-old capped another fine display by slamming home a 20-yard free kick and whipping off his shirt in celebration. It was sheer delight for the defender who has won over the Stanley faithful in his last four displays after four seasons mainly on the sidelines.
"I have always said Paul strikes a lovely ball and he has scored a few free kicks in the reserves," said boss John Coleman. "But it was a bit special for him and he is now putting some serious pressure for a place in the starting line-up."
Howarth was the surprise scorer while Paul Mullin continues to impress everyone by the way he is putting away his goals in the Conference. He has scored 16 for the season now and Shots boss Terry Brown said his side gave the hitman so much space that "he must have thought Christmas had come early." But that is perhaps denying what Mullin does in and around the box as he made the Shots suffer.
Andy Procter played in the perfect ball for him from the left wing to slot home number one from eight yards out on two minutes. And the fans were still beside themselves from taking the lead against their fellow promotion contenders, when Mullin was celebrating number two. This time it was the outstanding Rory Prendergast who set him up from the left wing with just five minutes on the clock.
The joy was somewhat short-lived when dangerman Roscoe D'Sane chipped Jamie Speare and, despite a desperate lunge by Peter Cavanagh on the goalline, it was 2-1 with just six minutes gone. Mullin had a chance for a hat-trick and a Robbie Williams header from a Prendergast corner was expertly pushed out by Nikki Bull.
Then it all seemed to go wrong for Stanley when Speare saved D'Sane's effort but he got the ball back and found space to fire goalwards - with Cavanagh judged to have handled the ball on the line. He was sent off - and D'Sane scored the penalty to draw level on 33 minutes.
"I thought the sending off was harsh but the referee wasn't left with much option," said Brown. "It wasn't intentional and it was fired like a rocket from six yards out," said Coleman. "It wasn't deliberate but we are used to playing with ten men now." It was Stanley's seventh dismissal of the season and the second one for the Reds' skipper.
But, true to form, there was no let-up from the home side. Prendergast played in another perfect ball on 40 minutes and Andy Gouck headed home his fourth goal of the season.
Then everything spilled over after the break. Tony Shields was shown his second yellow card following a foul on Gouck, most of the 22 players got involved on the pitch and then it erupted in the dug-out between Brown and Coleman.
"It was just a ruck between two managers," said Brown. "I was frustrated about the way my team was playing. These things happen in football and there is no problem, we have had a chat since. Our defence was just laughable though and it was our poorest performance of the season."
Coleman said: "Things get tense and sometimes a little bit heated. But we had a drink in the bar afterwards."
Then came Howarth's moment although Speare did have to pull off two top class saves at the end to keep Stanley clear.