AS ACCRINGTON Stanley ran onto the pitch at Chester there would have been a tear in many a fans eye as the Reds finally made their welcome return to the Football League.
The stadium announcer at City did his best to raise the roof for all supporters, the travelling fans made themselves heard and the usual throng of media gathered round snapping anything and everything that was Stanley.
There was a big sense of history being made as the Reds, after 44-years in the wilderness, took to the field to a huge ovation from everyone.
Stanley's rise back up the leagues has been well-documented and everyone loves the fairy-tale story of the club which has risen from the ashes.
However, Chester were not willing to provide a happy ending as they gatecrashed the Stanley party and left the Reds fans contemplating more tears - for different reasons - at the end.
But manager John Coleman wasn't prepared to get too upset at his side's first experence of League Two football.
He stated pre-season that his one worry was the physical aspect of League Two and Chester were a big, strong side who outmuscled the Reds - but he thinks his players will adapt.
He said: "I am disappointed we didn't get our passing game going as much as we would have liked and our flair players didn't have the best of games and when they are not firing, we are not firing.
"We had a lot of play in the second half but we did not hurt them and chose the wrong option far too much.
"We have to toughen up and get our best players on the ball and our so-called match-winners into the right areas to hurt teams and then they better watch out.
"It is a learning curve. Me and Jimmy (Bell) and the players have learnt a lot. Maybe we were a little over confident and we have learnt a harsh lesson."
He continued: "I didn't think there was a two-goal difference in it. We haven't worked their keeper enough but our keeper hasn't had a save to make.
"The first 20 minutes you have got to give them credit, they were well-organised and had a game plan and stuck to it. But under pressure we gave away a few cheap set-plays and they put one away.
"That was particularly annoying as we knew that they were a danger at the far post - we worked on it in training - and I said I would fine the players if they scored with a back post header. So I will.
"It was physical out there against Chester and there were some tough challenges going in and we have got to learn and do it quickly."
Stanley's preparations were thrown into turmoil last week when loan keeper Rob Elliot was sent back to Charlton for treatment on a bruised ankle.
Ian Dunbavin got his League Two Stanley debut and was first in action pushing out a Dean Bennett effort on seven minutes as City immediately showed the Reds what this league is all about.
They pushed them and harried them and always seemed to have at least two men around the ball to stop any Stanley attacks.
The Conference champions had to weather the early storm and suffered an early casualty when debutant winger Sean Doherty flung his leg in front of a Chester free kick and ended up hobbling off the pitch on 15 minutes.
Luckily for Coleman, Stanley's Andy Todd could step straight into Doherty's shoes and the wideman looked strong and did make an impression on the right.
However no sooner was Todd on, than he was having to defend a Laurie Wilson corner which Dunbavin missed and it fell to the far post where the powerful Drewe Broughton outjumped Michael Welch and his header found the back of the net.
Stanley were struggling to find their rythmn but with one goal in it, the Reds just needed one chance. And it almost came when Gary Roberts made his prescence really tell for the first time with a great ball into the box which Todd volleyed just wide on 36 minutes.
Last season, that would have gone in and Stanley would have gone on to win the game. This time, it didn't happen.
Martinez was dominant in midfield while Chester always looked a danger from set-pieces forcing numerous corners which led to desperate clearances from the Reds backline.
The home defence also managed to keep Rommy Boco and Paul Mullin - still recovering from a hernia operation - reasonably quiet although Mullin did set Roberts up after the break but the winger tried to chip the keeper and it was easy for John Danby.
But Chester were always a threat on the break and skipper Peter Cavanagh stopped a looping ball landing on the head of substitute striker Gregg Blundell and into the empty net after Dunbavin had raced out of his goal.
Stanley tried to get back in it but were having little joy up front with Danby saving a low Roberts' free kick and sub Andy Mangan blasting wide.
But it looked like Stanley's luck might have turned when Welch's ball out of defence sent Roberts free. He passed to Ian Craney who put in a great ball across the face of the goal - but no one was there to pounce.
And then any hope disappeared when Blundell broke through, tried to turn in the area and Robbie Williams brought him down.
Premiership referee Phil Dowd pointed to the spot and Blundell ended any chance of a Stanley fightback with a low penalty into the bottom left hand corner of Dunbavin's net.
Welcome to League Two.