While most Stanley fans think the League Two play-offs are a dream, manager John Coleman was still dwelling on the one he felt got away.
If the Reds hadn’t gone on a six game winless run – where they picked up just two points – around October, the long-serving boss says Stanley would have already been celebrating League One football instead of the lottery of the play-offs.
"October killed us," he admitted. "If it hadn’t been for October we would have been up automatically and that’s the disappointing thing.
"I think we were good enough to go up automatically this season and now we will have to give it our best shot and it can boil down to a lot of luck in the play-offs but we will have to hope luck is on our side.
"There is nothing to celebrate yet and there is still a job to do.
"But whatever we do this season we can be proud of ourselves, the way we have applied ourselves in times of advertisty on not the best pitch in the world – and that’s no disrespect to the groundsman – the weather hasn’t helped and the ground we had at the start of the season didn’t grow quite right. So to come through all that and still to produce some of the football we have this season, has been magnificent."
Coleman and assistant Jimmy Bell says the belief was always there that this could be their season, despite the bookmakers tipping them to be closer to non league football than League One.
"I am delighted for the players and the fans," he continued. "It’s been a long, hard season but we always believed we could get to 72 points. After we lost at Rotherham in February, we set a target of 10 wins and we always believed we could get them – and we have.
"All credit to the players, they have performed really well.
"Against Barnet it wasn’t the best due to the conditions but both teams have a right go and thankfully we have come out on top.
"Jimmy Ryan scored three great strikes and deserved man-of-the-match. He has had them in the past when he has probably stolen them a couple of times but there were a lot of big performances out there.
"But there have been a lot of big performances this season. Andy Procter always battles right to the end and shows how much it means to him; Sean McConville has had a hat-trick this season and Terry Gornell has done a lot of work which hasn’t perhaps been rewarded with goals but has allowed other players to score.
"I think the style of football we have played has taken people by surprise ,our system has been difficult to play against because we have so many players who are hungry for the ball and we have talented players who have been prepared to work hard so that always gives you a chance.
"I am delighted to be in fifth but there is till a lot of hard work to do. We have two massive games in the play-offs and we have to focus on each game."
Despite four promotions with Stanley and 15 years in management, Coleman has never sampled the play-off system.
"Let’s hope it’s first time lucky," he added.