THERE are teams who Stanley, for some unknown reason, regularly struggle against.
Then there are sides that just have an unbreakable curse over them - and Darlington are one such team.
The Reds have played them five times in League Two, never won - or even drawn - and have had 11 goals scored against them and scored just one.
Whatever it is, Dave Penney’s side seem virtually guaranteed three points against the Reds - but, even if there is some hoodoo somewhere, Stanley didn’t help themselves on Saturday.
The first goal was something of a fluke by Ipswich loan man Billy Clarke - he received the ball via a deflection off Stanley loan man Rostyn Griffiths.
The second one had an air of off-side about it although Clarke’s chip won a lot of plaudits with Kenny Arthur caught out.
And the third one was just plain bad defending with Alan White nipping in at the near post from a corner for his first goal of the season.
Meanwhile, Stanley tested Quakers keeper Simon Brown just twice - once with a Jimmy Ryan fierce shot and late in the game with a Paul Mullin goalmouth scramble.
And, in the second half, the home side were always in charge much to the dismay of Stanley boss John Coleman whose side have picked up one point out of a possible 12 now.
"This just seems to be a hoodoo place for us - no matter what we do we don’t seem able to come and get a result here," said the Reds’ chief.
"But I am desperately disappointed with the performance.
"Darlington have won the game without getting out of bed. They have walked off with a standard ovation without having to do anything.
"The first shot they have on target is on 32 minutes and they score.
"We were the better team in the first half but it counts for nothing if you go in 1-0 down.
"In the second half, we have started brightly and pressed them but then conceded a stupid second goal and then we have just gone to pieces after that.
"They (the Reds defence) have pushed up trying to play off-side. They took it on their own backs to do that and it remains to be seen whether it was off-side."
Television replays didn’t make it clear but with a player like Clarke, he is always going to pounce on any chance. It shows the gaps between the ‘haves’ and ‘have nots’ in League Two that the Quakers can loan the highly-rated Ipswich striker, 20, who has played and scored in the Championship.
The Reds, meanwhile, are dependent on loan teenagers who are making their first excursion into league football with sub Terry Gornell, on loan from Tranmere, having to come on and try and save the game having just one Rovers first team outing this season in the Carling Cup.
And he replaced Jamie Clarke, 20, on loan from Blackburn, who is struggling to make a big impression in the League Two after reserve and academy outings at Ewood Park.
However for all that, it was Stanley who had the best chance in the early stages despite the home side dominating possession.
Jimmy Ryan broke from a corner on the wing, cut inside and fired a fierce shot goalwards which stranded keeper Brown had to one-handedly push over the bar on 13 minutes.
There wasn’t a lot in it in a physical battle with Quakers on-loan striker Liam Hatch making a nuisance of himself but he left the pitch for treatment after an accidental clash of heads.
And, while the home side were down to ten men, Darlington popped up with the opener on 32 minutes in what had been a game of few clear cut chances.
Leichtenstein international Franz Burgmeier’s shot was deflected off the outstretched leg of Griffiths and it fell nicely for Clarke to get there before Arthur and he looped it into the net.
There was a few half chances for the Reds after that but Coleman decided to change it. He brought Gornell on at half-time but, despite showing a willingness to work hard, the young striker was never given a chance on goal.
And the Stanley fans must have feared the worst with the introduction of Gregg Blundell on 57 minutes as the former Northwich and Chester man has a habit of scoring against the Reds.
But it was Clarke who continued to be the dangerman as he again showed what he can do. The Reds were still appealing for off-side for a Steve Foster long ball over the top but the nippy striker got the ball and superbly chipped the off-his-line Arthur for his second and seventh goal of the season.
And Clarke almost got a hat-trick shortly after but his strike was narrowly wide of Arthur’s post.
Stanley did almost get one back in the 65th minute - and that would have been a huge lifeline.
A John Miles corner was flicked on by Colin Murdock and fell to Paul Mullin at the far post. There was a goalline scramble with Mullin trying to force the ball over and Brown scrambling to keep hold of it but, despite appeals, Brown held on.
"That was the turning point of the game for me," said Coleman. "If that goes in then I think we go on and get something out of the game. Instead we just looked deflated after that."
And it was then all Darlington. Arthur had to push out a Burgmeier curling strike while Blundell almost got his customary goal against the Reds when he was clean through but the Stanley stopper did well to come out and block the shot.
The game became heated with tempers flaring, tackles flying in and both managers at the edge of their technical areas yelling instructions.
Coleman tried to change it, using all three substitutes and taking off defenders Murdock and Chris King as they went for a goal. But it was Penney’s side who had the final say when White got in front of sub Fola Onibuje from a Burgmeier corner and headed home the third.
It was game over although, in the last four minutes, Ryan came close with a 25-yard free kick and Onibuje and Mullin linked up well but the tall substitute couldn’t find the final touch.
"I am absolutely livid," raged Coleman.
"The players got told a few home truths at half-time and it didn’t make a blind bit of difference and sometimes actions speak louder than words.
"We are too good to go down but we have got to start showing it."