PAUL Mullin seems to love facing Canvey Island.
The striker netted three goals against them last season in Stanley's two wins and he added another to his tally on Saturday as the Conference table topping Reds extended their unbeaten league run to nine games.
Mullin fired home the second of the game to take his tally to seven goals for the season and make it four wins out of four against Canvey in the Reds' Conference clashes.
And skipper Peter Cavanagh is fast becoming a Stanley goal machine with two goals in two matches after he prodded home the opener.
Both players were thankful to winger Gary Roberts for setting up their goals on what was a bobbly pitch in icy Essex.
It wasn't the prettiest of games but the Reds worked hard to grind out a result - and they may have to put in similar disciplined performances between now and the end of the season if they are to fulfil their dreams of a return to the Football League.
"We missed quite a few chances which doesn't always bode well and if Canvey had got a sniff of it, I think it would have been a lively finish," admitted boss John Coleman.
"But we have got a little bit of belief about ourselves at the moment, we are passing the ball well and we are making chances.
"The problem for us is that we don't always take them at the right time and it puts pressure on us. But thankfully we got the goals when we needed them and kept a clean sheet.
"Cav has got two in two games. He was playing further forward and, for the first 20-25 minutes, he didn't get in at the far post and chances were going begging. The first time he did he got a goal. He is still getting his fitness back and I am sure, in race horse style, he will come out of the rough.
"Paul (Mullin's) overall play was magnificent. He led the line well and worked his socks off for the team and it was a good goal. But he missed a few chances as well and maybe, if his finishing was better, he wouldn't be playing for us. But his overall play is as good as anyone in the league.
"And Gary (Roberts) was lively. It was great vision for the pass for Paul's goal and a great bit of skill for the first goal. When he gets on the ball he is a handful for anybody. He has got to keep turning in performances week in week out."
Canvey was always going to be a difficult place to visit as they had seen off early pacesetters Grays twice over the festive period.
Coleman had also just won the Manager of the Month for December with Crawley's John Hollins and there was a fear the dreaded curse would strike after such an impressive run for the Reds.
And the team also had the fans baffled when they ran out in their home top and away bottoms but the Reds weren't off colour once they got going.
The boss did have to shuffle his pack for the first time in three games bringing in Cavanagh on the right of midfield for the injured Steve Jagielka.
And the early stages were tentative with half chances for either side as the defences were on top.
Canvey did look a threat as they passed the ball around well but lack ed the cutting edge in front of goal with Jason Hallett and Dwain Clark well-marshalled by the Reds backline.
The Gulls defence were similary standing firm and it needed a spark of magic to unlock them with Roberts twisting and turning in the area and firing in a ball to the far post.
It looked like he had hit it too far but there was the unlikely sight of captain Cavanagh coming in at the far post to touch it over the line six minutes before the break.
After a reasonably dour first half, the game did then burst into life after the break with Roberts breaking through but Danny Potter got down low to block his effort while, at the other end, Hallett shot into the side netting.
Roberts was again the creator setting up Mullin who was in the six yard box and looked likely to add to the tally but Potter pulled off a stunning double save to keep him out.
But he could do nothing when Roberts broke down the wing and played in the perfect ball for Mullin to run onto and side foot home from 12 yards on 66 minutes to effectively seal the three points.
To be fair to Canvey, they never stopped pressing with a Ben Chenery header pushed over by Rob Elliot and the Stanley keeper had to do the same with Jon Keeling's corner. The home side then appealed for a penalty following an Ian Craney tackle on Keeling but the referee was close by and waved away appeals in a lively finish.
It did get niggly with a rash of bookings bringing an end to the game but Stanley were not worrying with another vital three points in the bag.
STANLEY: Elliot, Cavanagh ( Brown 75), Richardson, Williams, Welch, Barry, Boco, Craney, Edwards, Mullin, Roberts. Not used: Mangan, Alcock, Ventre, Tretton. Bookings: Richardson, Edwards, Welch, Roberts.