John Coleman and Kevin Dillon both went home happy with a draw, and drew the same conclusion from this match.
Coleman and his opposite number from Aldershot were unanimous in slamming a pitch that gave neither team a hope of putting on a show.
The newly-laid £70,000 replacement went down a couple of weeks after schedule. And this encounter paid the price for that crucial fortnight’s delay.
"It ended up hampering us, especially the way it softened up," said Coleman. "And it was exactly how I expected it to be.
"I think it’ll be alright because we haven’t got another game on it for two weeks. There’s still a lot of work being done on it and I think within a couple of weeks you’ll see a different pitch."
Dillon, who had watched his side labour in the lush yet treacherous turf, agreed:¿"I know their manager was upset about it, and it just didn’t allow us to pass the ball. It kept getting stuck under our feet or we had to have that extra touch.
"Seventy thousand pounds spent on that pitch? I don’t know where they’ve got that from but it didn’t help either team."
The clubs both applied to the Football League to play the fixture at the Shots’¿Recreation¿Ground but were refused permission, leading to a below-par stalemate but, far from rounding on their players, Coleman and Dillon were clearly of the same mindset – that anyone would have struggled on that surface.
Each manager fielded five debutants and Coleman was delighted by his quintet – Jonathan Bateson, Sean Hessey, Charlie Barnett, Ray Putterill and Rory Boulding – but all his side’s efforts were bogged down by the Crown Ground turf.
Sean McConville had the Reds’ first pot-shot two minutes in, firing well wide from 30 yards.
The winger’s next range-finder, a fizzing drive from the right-hand side of the box, was smartly tipped away by Jamie Young. Stanley’s star man Jimmy Ryan also came close but Young was on hand to make another parry from the winger’s lob.
Boulding did stick the ball in the Shots goal but his strike was chalked off by a linesman’s flag.
Late in the half, Ian Dunbavin was finally called upon, when Andy Procter’s sloppy pass was picked up and slipped to Marvin¿Morgan. Outmuscling Phil¿Edwards, the striker was only denied by Dunbavin’s smart block to ensure parity at the break.
Edwards’ mis-kick moments after the restart gave Morgan his second opportunity but, clean through, he’ll have been disappointed to only find the side netting.
Clearly outsized by Aldershot, particularly defenders Darren Jones and Anthony Charles, the Reds – ahead on points at the halfway stage after McConville’s wayward header and Dean¿Winnard’s skied shot – were determined to pass their way through.
Some neat play from the hosts did result in chances for McConville, Ryan and Putterill but, the latter’s scuffed effort straight at Young aside, there was too little for the Aussie keeper to do.
However, Young proved his value to Dillon’s side when Putterill’s cross was half-cleared as far as Ryan, who blasted a first-time volley goalwards, Young producing a good stop.
A late chance for Putterill, created by Boulding’s persistence, also went astray and Coleman was forced to accept a point apiece.
It was a fair reward for the toiling teams, as Dillon suggested:¿"The pitch was dreadful, it’s just not good enough and I feel sorry for Accrington, they wanted to change it to our ground. In the end the pitch probably won 3-0."