A general rule of this season is that if Sean McConville scores – Accrington win.
The midfielder has scored six goals so far this season, scoring a hat-trick in the 3-0 win over Macclesfield, one in the 3-0 victory over Lincoln; another in the 7-4 thriller against Gillingham and now the vital one to beat Stevenage.
Not only was it the winning goal but it was a relief for Stanley to end a six-game League Two winless run which had seen the Reds drop perilously close to the relegation zone.
And it was against a Stevenage side that hadn’t lost in eight matches and are tipped by some to bounce up from the Conference to League One in quick succession.
McConville was pleased to serve up the winner – especially as the 21-year-old had been the target of some stick from his manager this week about his lack of recent goals.
He had scored five up to early October but had been unable to find the back of the net until Saturday.
And he was the one with the biggest smile after the Crown Ground clash.
"I’m delighted with the goal," he said. "The gaffer’s been on my case all week saying that I don’t score goals any more so I’m made up that I got it and it’s always good to get the winner. I keep saying that every time I score, we win. Every time I’ve scored this season we’ve won the game."
The midfielder took his goal superbly – getting on the end of Jimmy Ryan’s right-wing cross and flicking the ball into the corner of the net in the 68th minute.
"I just saw Jimmy get it and I know he can deliver a good ball so I ran into the box and it came at me and I sort of flicked it over the keeper. I was delighted to see it go in.
"It was a tough game. They’re a physical side, you could see by some of the challenges that were going in. We couldn’t really play our football but we showed that we can mix it with big teams like that and come out with the win.
"I think our performances have warranted more in the last few weeks. I think we’ve played quite well, other than the Cheltenham game where we were disappointing. Our performances have warranted three points and now we’re delighted to have got them."
It was a welcome win after a superb start to the season had turned into a bit of a nightmare results-wise as the Reds slipped down the table. They needed the win against a side they have a long history with going back to Conference days and with boss Graham Westley who is in his second stint in charge of the club.
It was always destined to be a close game and it was a match that threatened to get nasty at times.
There was a flare-up in the Reds area in the second half with most of the players getting involved but, despite a bit of pushing, it never spilled over to a red-card scenario – something Stanley didn’t need after four dismissals this season.
Stevenage were physical – Reds defender Sean Hessey and striker Chris Holroyd had a niggly battle from the off – but Westley thought the same about the Reds. He said after the clash that Stanley had some "interesting tactics to halt us."
And both sides did really stop each other with hardly any chances and always one goal looking enough to win it.
It should have been Ray Putterill who scored it early on when he got on the end of McConville’s low cross, forcing keeper Chris Day to push the ball out and, with the crowd waiting for a certain goal with Putterill rushing in, he missed the ball completely and Stevenage – with captain Mark Roberts an ex-Stanley man among their ranks – cleared their lines.
Stevenage won a lot of free kicks around the box but each time a red shirt got there first and limited them to two first-half chances – Lawrie Wilson’s 35th-minute effort was palmed away by Ian Dunbavin and Jay O’Shea fired over the crossbar.
It needed something special to break the deadlock and, a minute after Holroyd had a goal ruled out for a foul in the build-up which Westley was furious at, Stanley charged down the other end with McConville finishing it off.
It always seemed like Stanley would hold on – although Dunbavin did have to push a Chris Beardsley effort around the post late on.
And Stanley could have given Reds boss John Coleman a more restful last six minutes when lively sub Andy Parkinson’s fierce effort was just wide.
Coleman admitted: "Possibly a draw would have been a fair result, although I don’t think either keeper has made too many saves. They have had a lot of pressure but I don’t think we have done enough to say we comfortably won the game.
"We have had games in the past where we possibly haven’t got what we deserved and one thing we did do is work our socks off, right to the death.
"Stevenage have come with a game plan they were well-drilled and they made it difficult for us to play.
"The pitch also hampered us – there is a patch which I am fearing for and it certainly stops us passing the ball. Sometimes you have to dig in and take what you can.
"I had been on to Sean all week, winding him up and saying he hadn’t scored for a while and it is always nice when you get the winner. It’s special."
He continued: "I am delighted with the clean sheet as they’re a good side and I think they will be top half, maybe pushing for the play-offs.
"What we have to try and do is get as many points on the board as possible because it is going to be tight this season."
Coleman added: "It’s a relief to get the win as it seems to be a while since we picked up three points. The lads have worked ever so hard in training and they got their rewards. The harder you work the luckier you get and maybe we had that bit of luck against Stevenage."