EIGHT games ago, Stanley celebrated a huge win over Morecambe and opened up a 16 point gap from the bottom two.
There was a huge sense of optimism and a feeling that the derby victory would mean the Reds would kick on and aim for the security of a mid-table spot.
Instead, though, it’s the Shrimps who have gone on an unbeaten run since then and the Reds who have struggled - and, by Saturday evening, it was doom and gloom as Stanley were locked in a relegation fight.
Reds boss John Coleman looked shell shocked after the loss to Gillingham, keeping the players locked in the dressing room for 20 minutes after the final whistle.
And talk had to turn to the battle against the drop as they loitered just five points above the drop zone by Saturday evening - and nerves are jangling.
"We have got to keep battling but we are in a precarious position," said Coleman. "We aren’t scoring goals and that is killing us. Then we gifted them two goals with two deflected goals and that’s disappointing.
"It was harsh that we lost and it is hard but me and Jimmy (Bell) are not quitters, and nor are the players.
"We have got to keep battling away and hopefully our luck will turn.
"There is no point feeling sorry for yourselves - we are in the situation we are in and we have got to get out of it with these players as we can’t bring anyone in on loan.
"We are giving it our best shot. There is no lack of spirit, work-rate or application but we have got to get our quality better.
"We are not the only team in this situation and the only way we can finish out of the drop zone is hard work which will be doing between now and the end of the season.
"We need to grind out a number of wins and that’s what we intend to do."
His opposite number Mark Stimson is hopeful of grinding out a number of wins for other reasons - as his side battle for an instant return to League One.
"We scored two scrappy goals - but we will take them. I am used to challenging for honours in the Conference - whether it is the play-offs or the FA Trophy - so I am glad I am up there with Gillingham," said the ex-Grays and Stevenage boss.
Coleman was also used to challenging for honours in his non league days - but, in the three Football League seasons, it has been three relegation fights.
And, if the current results continue, this one looks like it could be the closest.
It wasn’t as if the Reds didn’t have chances but they continued their record of scoring just one goal in seven hours of football.
Liverpool loanee Craig Lindfield couldn’t find the target with some good chances while Andy Procter and Paul Mullin both tested keeper Simon Royce - but failed to find a way past him.
In fact the biggest test for Royce was at the death when Nicky Southall headed a Chris Turner ball in towards his own goal with the stopper pulling off a superb save.
But it didn’t mean Kenny Arthur was under constant pressure. In fact, apart from a 20 yard John Nutter free kick on three minutes, the keeper had little to do but still picked the ball out of his net twice.
The first goal came on 18 minutes when Nutter’s corner was flicked on at the near post by Stanley’s Lindfield and Simon King hooked a ball goalwards. It bounced off Phil Edwards and landed nicely for Simeon Jackson who prodded the ball home.
The 15-goal hitman had been suffering something of a goal drought but Stanley boss Coleman would love such a scruffy goal to get his side back on track.
The second and deciding goal came after the break when Southall’s cross found Dennis Oli and his shot deflected off Peter Cavanagh and wrong-footed Arthur.
Stanley huffed and puffed after that and the introduction of three subs - Chris Turner, Kallum Higginbotham and Bobby Grant - did add some urgency but it all came too late for the Reds.
"I have got belief in some players and they are very good players so we have to take some positives," added Coleman.
"The young lads have done well and they will develop.
"All the players are down at the moment but we have to pick them up for the rest of the season. We have looked at the games left and picked out ones where we have got to get points to know we are safe."