"I hate losing – especially to Burton," said one Stanley fan as he dejectedly trooped off in the driving rain on Tuesday night.
And many of the other long-term Reds supporters felt the same as Accrington not only lost to the team whose fierce rivalry goes back to UniBond days but also saw their chance of having their play-off fate in their own hands disappear.
For so long, Stanley have had games in hand and looked like they could be the surprise package if they could turn those matches into wins.
Boss John Coleman though was always wary that the matches would run out without having the points in the bag.
And Burton proved a game too far as, after runs in the Johnstone’s Paint Trophy and the FA Cup, the season finally caught up with the Reds and it was the Brewers who jumped over Stanley in the table and the Reds slipped into the bottom half.
It was so disappointing as, after back-to-back wins, the Reds had gone within two points of seventh place but now it’s back-to-back defeats and Coleman admitted he doesn’t know why his side turned in such a poor show.
"I am disappointed with the performance and the result," he admitted. "Burton have come and, in the first half, looked like they wanted it more than us.
"I have no complaints, they took their chances and we wasted ours but we weren’t at the game.
"That wasn’t the Accrington team I know. I know what they have got and that was a million miles away from the team I know.
"But Burton capitalised on that and were worthy winners.
"We huffed and we puffed but we looked tired, jaded and mentally wrecked. I cannot remember ever witnessing a performance like that.
"I think we fell well below our standards in every department - our passing was not good, our defending wasn’t good, our work rate was not up to scratch, our shooting wasn’t up to scratch, our passing was poor and our crossing was poor."
In fact nothing did go Stanley’s way in a game where the players needed to roll their sleeves up and get stuck in, in the driving rain and on a muddy pitch.
It was never going to be pretty but it was Paul Peschisolido’s side who made the early running and it’s easy to see why a few clubs are keeping tabs on their top scorer Shaun Harrad.
He was lively up front while, without the tall presence of the suspended Michael Symes, Bobby Grant and Billy Kee hardly saw the ball in the early stages.
And it did only seem a matter of time before the Brewers went ahead as they bossed proceedings.
That came on 27 minutes when Cleveland Taylor nicked the ball on the right, broke forward and played in the perfect low cross for Harrad to fire home his 17th goal of the season.
It did then appear to rouse the lack lustre Reds and Stanley had a number of good chances from Jimmy Ryan balls but each time the visiting defence took the ball off the foot of the returning Grant.
And the home side were unlucky on 38 minutes when John Miles’ cross found the head of defender Darran Kempson and it was centimetres over the bar – although keeper Artur Krysiak looked to have got a touch despite a goalkick being given.
If that looked a decent chance then it was a complete puzzle how the Reds didn’t open the scoring three minutes before the break when Krysiak spilled a Ryan free kick and skipper Andy Procter got quickly to the rebound four yards out but somehow didn’t convert it.
The Reds must have felt then it wasn’t going to be their day, although Coleman got into his team at half-time, and Ryan had an early effort blocked by defender Tony James while Luke Joyce fired a shot over the bar.
But Harrad was always a danger for the Brewers and he broke through again only to see his effort blocked.
Ex-Reds favourite Rommy Boco (pictured below) came on for Burton looking to upset his former club and the Benin international, who scored Stanley’s first goals on their return to the league, got a good reception.
It was always feared that he may score the winner on his return to the Crown Ground but the Reds continued to threaten with a seemingly good appeal for a Russell Penn handball ruled out and Joyce blasting narrowly wide.
Stanley’s Miles headed into the keeper’s arms and sub Gary King had a free header but he also failed to find the target as the goal evaded the home side.
And the Reds suffered a killer blow when a goalkick, that wasn’t properly cleared by Phil Edwards, found Greg Pearson who raced free and slotted into the bottom corner of the net on 79 minutes.
That was game over although a few fans remained in their seats, hopeful after Burton had squandered a 5-3 lead in the dying minutes against Cheltenham two games ago.
But there was none of that for Stanley and Coleman who need to pick themselves up quickly.