GARY Roberts had a hard act to follow when he stepped into Rory Prendergast's shoes at the start of this season.
But the left winger has made himself a firm Stanley favourite and the Reds fans are hoping he is here to stay after another match-winning performance against Altrincham.
The 21-year-old can turn a game with his pace and skill and did just that on Saturday to secure a fifth straight win and send Stanley to the top of the Conference table.
It was a wonder free-kick from 20 yards which he hit perfectly on 63 minutes to find the bottom left hand corner of the goal to end Altrincham's resistance and bank the points.
And Roberts' seventh goal of the season certainly came as a relief to manager John Coleman who found Altrincham - as they had in their 1-0 win at Moss Lane earlier in the season - tricky customers.
"It was a hard-fought game and I don't think we were at the races in the first-half," said the Reds boss. "We were a little bit flat-footed and the lads were told in no uncertain terms at half-time that that wasn't good enough.
"But give the lads their due, they responded in the second-half, played some great football and fully deserved to win.
"Gary scored a great goal. He was a little bit quiet in the first-half but he springs to life and creates chances. He is always going to be a threat. It was a good performance and there were a couple of big performances out there in the second-half."
Roberts, now joint top-scorer, is one of Stanley's main threats and with the Reds not performing to their best his magic was needed to turn what had become a dogged and niggly game.
Coleman stuck to the same outfield players who had done so well against Southport the week before with Rommy Boco again getting the nod ahead of David Brown.
The only change was in goal where loan-man Rob Elliot replaced his Charlton team-mate Darren Randolph and he didn't let the side down on his debut by helping the Reds to their third successive clean sheet.
The shot-stopper didn't have the busiest of afternoons, although his long throws out of the area were a threat while, like Randolph, he was positive in collecting high balls.
The first chances belonged to Stanley with Phil Edwards aiming for his first Reds goal on four minutes but he blasted wide of Stuart Coburn's right-hand post.
Roberts hit what should have been a testing free-kick against the wall, while Anthony Barry outwitted the Alty defence with his pace but his low cross was collected by Coburn.
Altrincham offered little up front in the early stages, but passed the ball around well with ex-Crewe man Colin Little going on a mazy run before firing high and a Colin Potts cross flying across the face of goal.
Stanley just couldn't find the killer touch, despite their chances, with former Altrincham midfielder Ian Craney's fierce strike heading for the back of the net but bouncing off Pete Band, while Michael Welch's header was easy for Coburn.
Boco couldn't find the space he got against Southport and only came to life just before half-tme when he had one effort blocked and another he blasted over.
And then, in injury-time, Roberts gave a hint of what was to come by using his vision to try his luck from 30 yards - the ball bouncing off the crossbar much to his despair.
Coleman dished out some home truths at half-time as his side looked in danger of not scoring for the first time this season.
And the message got through after Steve Jagielka had been brought down just outside the area - teeing up a Roberts special which he again finished superbly.
"It was a piece of quality," said disappointed Alty manager Graham Heathcote. "I can't complain about that."
The hope was the floodgates would open as they had against Southport the week before but, to give Altrincham credit, they kept going.
And Stanley did have to re-arrange their side when Craney went off with a shoulder injury after an hour.
However, the Reds remained on top with some neat passing moves involving Barry and Roberts but substitute Andy Mangan couldn't provide the finish and Paul Mullin also burst through but fired wide.
And after failing to kill off the game, Stanley left their fans with hearts in mouths as Altrincham conjured up two late chances following the introduction of substitute Keiron Lugsden.
His ball into the box was fumbled by Elliot on 74 minutes with Potts waiting to pounce but the keeper recovered to grab the ball.
And then, with minutes left, Lugsden broke and, with only Elliot to beat, fired across the goal to miss by inches.
There was still time for more drama in injury-time when Band was sent off for allegedly swearing at the assistant-referee after he had flagged for hand-ball.
And it could have got worse for Alty as Boco almost belatedly grabbed a second but couldn't get on the end of Roberts' cross as Coleman once again went through hell on the touchline.
"I feel physically sick at times," said the Reds boss. "They defended well and I knew they would. They deserved to beat us at their place and we were fortunate to win but I don't think that was the case today. They did have a chance late on but that was their only chance. Our defenders defended well.
"What we have to do, though is guard against the nervousness kicking in so that when we haven't gone in front in the first-half, we don't get desperate and the fans don't start turning and getting anxious, which transfers to the players and we get a little bit flat-footed.
"We have got to guard against that and be positive, pro-active and relentless. But it is nice to be top - even if it is just for a short while. I would love to fast forward to May.
"But we have now won three home games on spin and if want to be successful in this league you have got to win a lot of your home games."