John Coleman didn’t want to get into a war of words with Crawley boss Steve Evans – he merely enjoyed the exchanges.
The Reds boss was finishing his interview after the draw at the Broadfield Stadium on Saturday while Evans talked to the Crawley press and Coleman could hear that the former Boston boss was being less than complimentary about his side.
The Reds chief though kept his cool and, once both had finished, he asked Evans about the customary after-match drink in the manager’s office to which Evans replied ‘no chance’ – with the observers not sure if he was joking or not.
There is certainly a bit of history between Evans, when he was Boston boss, and Accrington with a Stanley last-gasp win upsetting Evans at the Crown Ground in 2006 and, in the same season, Evans was quite vocal about a possible points deduction when Stanley were found guilty of playing ineligible players – which never happened.
Now boss of big spending Crawley, he obviously didn’t expect that his side’s seven-game winning run would come to an end and that they would be knocked off the top of the table – by Stanley of all teams.
To say he wasn’t flattering to the Reds is an understatement. Evans fumed: "Let’s not dramatise this, they have come here and put 11 men behind the ball, we have had 25-to-30 efforts on goal and they had one.
"That would finish football, having to play against that every week. It would ruin it, they would stop it tomorrow and people would never come again if they had to watch it every week. There was one team here trying to entertain the public and there was one trying to stop it."
Some managers could get offended by that and, in the past, Coleman might have reacted immediately. But instead he took a more light-hearted approach and didn’t get too worked up by what his opposite number thought.
Coleman said: "I think the Crawley manager thinks that we are not good for football because he must want us to come here and roll over and die and we won’t do that for anyone.
"We have only lost twice away from home this season and everybody who we play respects the way we play so, when they expect to beat us, they must get a cob on when they don’t.
"We are certainly not a long ball team – I can’t say the same for Crawley.
"We try and pass the ball but give Crawley their due – they didn’t allow us to pass the ball and that’s why they are top of the league as they have good players.
"They have got a manager who sparks them into life on a regular basis and, if they keep going the way they are, then there is no reason they won’t be promoted to League One.
"We had a lot of decisions against us but we battled through and it was a good performance and we defended well – apart from the goal.
"It is a good point although it is disappointing that we led with 12 minutes to go and couldn’t see it through."
No one would have given Accrington much chance of coming away with a result at the league leaders who hadn’t drawn at home but had seven wins and one loss up to Saturday.
They have been scoring for fun and, with the Reds closer to the bottom of the table than the top, Evans was obviously expecting a more comfortable day at the Broadfield than his team got.
But, while he was quick to point at the Reds, his own side’s inability to find their shooting boots was also responsible for not giving him a happier day with both unmarked Claude Davis and John Akinde heading over in decent positions in the first half.
Skipper Josh Simpson had a fierce strike kept out by Ian Dunbavin and, while Crawley had most of the possession, they certainly weren’t peppering the Reds goal.
And Stanley had two decent shouts for a penalty both from Padraig Amond strikes which looked to hit the hands of Crawley players.
However, Stanley made one count when they won a free kick around the Crawley area minutes before the interval.
Charlie Barnett played in a perfect ball to the far post and defender Peter Murphy nipped in, stuck his leg out and, for the first time this season, gave the Reds the lead at half-time and stopped the rot with Stanley’s first goal in seven hours of football.
Murphy has now got three for the season which has put him at the top of the Reds’ scoring charts.
"We have gone a long time without scoring so it was a relief," said Coleman. "But Peter Murphy is now our leading goalscorer which is a worry."
Evans made three changes soon after the break as they looked to get back on track.
But the crowd were getting increasingly restless as, despite several dangerous goalmouth scrambles and a succession of corners, Stanley were holding out.
It was Crawley who were putting long balls forward as they looked to make an impression while Stanley were dangerous on the break – with Craig Lindfield replacing James Spray up front – but they couldn’t test Town keeper Scott Shearer.
But the home pressure eventually told with 12 minutes left when a long throw found the chest of one of the substitutes Hope Akpan who, to be fair, superbly volleyed home from the edge of the area.
The home team then had the momentum with 10-goal Matt Tubbs – who played for Salisbury against Stanley in the FA Cup in 2009 – one-on-one with Dunbavin but the keeper came out to narrow the angle.
Then, with five minutes to go, fellow sub Michael Doughty hammered a shot against the crossbar and, in injury time, Sergio Torres fired wide.
It wasn’t quite the 25-to-30 efforts on goal Evans claimed and, while Crawley did dictate the game on their own turf, Stanley fought hard and defended strongly to their credit.
Coleman said: "I thought we played well, it was a battle.
"Crawley are a good side and it was always going to be hard in the first minute when we picked up a booking (for Andy Procter).
"But you have got to take your hat off to Steve Evans, the way he keeps going on the line for 90 minutes, I don’t think I would have the energy to do what he does.
"He certainly rallies his players and contests every decision and sometimes they go their way, which a lot of them did in the second half.
"I think in the last half hour we didn’t get a foul awarded to us despite there being numerous ones where we should have done.
"So to come here and play in face of that adversity which we did in the last half an hour and battle away and get a point is good.
"We are disappointed to concede but, take nothing away, it was a great goal, a great take on the chest and a great volley but we left him unmarked at the edge of the box and that's why we are upset with ourselves.
"So we are disappointed that we haven’t again won away from home but it is a step in the right direction."
Not that Steve Evans would think so.