2006 WILL ALWAYS BE a special year in any Accrington Stanley fans eyes as they finally clinched their return to the Football League.
On April 15, Paul Mullin was on hand to score that history-making goal at Woking and keeper Rob Elliot pulled off two penalty saves to send Stanley into raptures - and grab National headlines.
Everyone seemed to love the rags to riches story of the club who, after being founder members of the Football League, were forced to resign in 1962 due to debts and then made their long-awaited return last year.
Stanley - "the biggest little club in the world."
And it seemed like it was always destined to be as 2005 passed by.
The Reds started this year two points ahead of Exeter in the Nationwide Conference, with a ten game unbeaten run and with manager John Coleman crowned Manager of the Month for December.
It was touch and go whether they would continue it in their first two games of the New Year in the Roses clashes with Halifax but late goals from Gary Roberts and a Peter Cavanagh penalty secured two draws.
Then came the game which led to one of the Stanley fans favourite songs - the clash on January 30, a Monday night, live on Sky when Stanley went to Exeter seven points clear of them.
A win was vital and step forward Roberts - who celebrated a double - and Rommy Boco to make it 3-1 and move Stanley a staggering 11 points clear.
"I knew then we had won the league," said manager Coleman, at the end of the season.
And the fans "We won it on Sky" song began!
However it wasn't all plain sailing with the shock departure of midfield battler Anthony Barry to Yeovil on transfer deadline day and it was wondered whether it would upset the Reds' flow.
But there was no worries with a 1-0 win over Dagenham and then Stanley continued their run with a "professional performance" (said Coleman) at Gravesend on a freezing cold Friday night.
Another win on the television, this time against local rivals and second placed Morecambe, saw an Andy Todd blast sail into the net and Paul Mullin followed it up to open up a 13 point gap on then nearest rivals Hereford.
Surely the Reds couldn't blow it now.
They almost did when Burton came to town and dominated but Mullin scored in the 90th minute to thoroughly upset Nigel Clough and keep the Reds clear.
A Roberts wonder goal led to a win at troubled club Crawley Town and then a stunning 4-1 victory in the rain on Tuesday night in Aldershot meant it was 10 straight wins for the Reds.
"It was the first game in a long time I have got through to injury time without chewing my nails to my elbow," admitted a nervous Coleman.
That set up a huge clash at Hereford who, with nine games to play, had their sights set on closing the gap on the Reds and halting what would be a joint Conference record for Stanley of 11 straight wins.
The Reds were 2-0 up and cruising through David Brown and an own goal. Then Danny Ventre was controversially sent off, the Bulls scored from the rebound from the resulting penalty and they broke Stanley's hearts with a 94th minute equaliser.
"We had the record taken off us not by Hereford and you can draw your own conclusions from that," fumed the Reds chief.
And there was a slight wobble with a draw against Stevenage and then, to Coleman's agony, Ian Craney missed a late penalty in the 2-0 loss at Southport to deny Stanley the chance of scoring in every league match that season. And it ended their 20-game unbeaten run.
"It sickens me that Ian didn't score. I am gutted," said the manager.
However, the Reds bounced back with a vital 4-2 thumping of play-off contenders York City and it meant they needed eight points to clinch the title as Hereford were beaten by Kidderminster and the Reds went 14 points clear.
Another defeat followed - this time to Grays Athletic and the lively Aaron McLean - and they drew at Forest Green but it didn't matter as they needed one more win from four games - and got it to begin the celebrations at Woking.
Stanley were presented with the Conference trophy against Tamworth and then there was the Town Hall reception and open top bus parade as the whole of Accrington went Stanley-mad.
They struggled to move out of the media spotlight as everyone who was anyone knew the Stanley story and the club received letters of congratulations from far and wide.
The big thing for the regular fans, though, was could the Reds keep hold of their star players with Gary Roberts being courted by Yeovil and the battle to get highly-rated Ian Craney - who won the Conference and Non League Player of the Year - to sign a new deal.
Coleman was hoping he could keep the pair and also snapped up last season's heroic keeper Elliot from Charlton on a season-long loan and then Ian Dunbavin, the former Shrewsbury and Halifax stopper.
Midfielder Jay Harris and winger Sean Doherty came to the club but Coleman kept faith with the majority of the side who had guided the Reds to that historic Conference win.
Improvements were made to the ground - renamed the Fraser Eagle Stadium as the Reds were rewarded with new sponsors - to bring it up to League Two standards but fans were still up in arms as there remained no roof over the Clayton End terracing.
However, on the pitch, pre-season was steady and hopes were high as they faced their first League Two clash in 44 years at Chester in August.
Again, the eyes of the English footballing fans were on them to see how Stanley would do on their return.
Unfortunately it was a 2-0 loss closely following by another one, their first home clash back in the league, to Darlington.
It didn't all quite live up to the hype and the crowds were not coming in their numbers as expected.
But a 2-1 victory over old Conference foes Barnet seemed to kick start the season and Rommy Boco had the distinction of being the first player to score a Stanley league goal.
Michael Welch then usurped him though with his wonder 40-yard strike at Stockport which guided him to second spot on BBC3 Goal of the Season programme.
Then came what is probably the high point of the season so far - a 1-0 win over former European champions Nottingham Forest in the Carling Cup, live on Sky, thanks to Mullin's effort. Stanley just love their television appearances!
The Reds, though, continued to stutter in the league with Welch and Peter Cavanagh sent off in the loss to Lincoln followed by defeat at Notts County and Stanley had conceded six goals in two games.
But then came what they hoped was the turning point as they celebrated their first league clean sheet with a 5-0 thumping of Wrexham.
This was followed by a 2-1 win over Boston and it began looking good.
The Carling Cup was a welcome interruption and the second round clash at Premier side Watford was widely anticipated.
The Reds did so well to keep them to a goalless draw in normal and extra-time but then Cavanagh and Mullin missed their spot kicks and Coleman wasn't happy.
There was harsh words said and players singled out for criticism but the Stanley chief was quick to play it down during the week after.
"Me and Jimmy (Bell) did take it badly immediately after but we weren't slagging off the players. I admire anyone who takes penalties," he said.
They didn't have long to dwell on it as they then made the trip to Mansfield Town which was the Dunbavin show as he saved two penalties in the 2-2 draw and the keeper again put in a solid show against Bury.
Andy Mangan's 93rd minute goal gave them a win over high flying Wycombe and then Andy Todd scored in the 1-1 draw with Dennis Wise's Swindon and Stanley were moving up the League Two table.
They finally grabbed their first away win of the season in a memorable weekend in Torquay and they occupied ninth spot with talk turning to the play-offs and a second successive promotion.
But then it all started to go wrong.
Roberts' goal against the Gulls turned out to be his last for Stanley as, in a shock swoop, he moved on loan to Championship side Ipswich the Tuesday after with a view to a permanent deal.
And, in the aftermath of that, a late goal denied them a point against leaders Walsall as the Reds slipped to their first defeat in eight league games.
But then a horrendous run was to follow.
A freak goal gave Hereford victory, injuries and suspensions started piling up and the Reds slipped down the table.
Peterborough came out with a second half burst with one-time target Aaron McLean the chief tormentor in a 4-2 victory.
Mansfield knocked them out of the FA Cup with a solitary goal on a windy day and N'Da's contract was cancelled after a training ground injury.
Hartlepool beat them - with Jay Harris dismissed, Cavanagh hobbled off with a knee injury, Rommy Boco returned to France with his bad back and Craney was snapped up by League One side Swansea to leave the Reds' fans in uproar.
To try to balance it out though, Coleman made five loan signings for the trip to Grimsby - and there were five debutants on the field, including highly-rated David Mannix from Liverpool and one-for-the-future Shaun Whalley.
Stanley lost though and Mannix played his first - and last of that month's loan spell - as he returned to Anfield with a knee problem.
And then Whalley saw red in the Johnstone's Paint Trophy loss at Doncaster just to make matters even worse.
Stanley drew with the Shrews in December to pick up their first league point since October while MK Dons were 4-3 winners and it became six defeats in seven league games.
Off the field, the Reds were appealing for the people of Accrington to get behind them and there were talks of a new stadium being built in the town.
However, they were also in the press for the wrong reasons for allegedly snubbing the prestigious Freedom of the Borough award but the club were adamant there was no snub - and chairman Eric Whalley will accept it - but they were just concentrating on football because of their perilous league position.
Thoughts turned back to football in mid-December as the 20th placed Reds faced bottom club Macclesfield - a game they couldn't afford to lose.
And it needed a 93rd minute Mangan goal to salvage what was a good point - and the striker's celebration included that now infamous attempted trip by Macc boss Paul Ince.
However, the smiles were short-lived as the journey to Bristol Rovers on the Saturday before Christmas was one to forget. Stanley were thumped 4-0, Mangan was sent off and Stanley had four teenagers on the bench with suspensions and injuries ripping through the squad.
"Never have me and John been so low after a match," admitted assistant Jimmy Bell.
However, things then perked up. A draw with Bury on Boxing Day marked the end of 2006 with the Mansfield game abandoned.
And the Reds won their first game of 2007 at Wrexham and Coleman's aim is now simple - to make sure, after achieving so much to win the Conference in 2006, that they can stay in the Football League in 2007.