STANLEY’S assistant boss Jimmy Bell used the word "alarming" twice in his post-match interview - and the management admit the bells are ringing even at the early stage of the season.
After what boss John Coleman deemed a "good start" with two league wins in their first three games, it had gone to "average" with last week’s defeat at Gillingham.
And now it is a worry with two losses in their last two league games - and injuries and mistakes are causing the management to reassess their team.
The Reds were expected to go to Exeter - the scene of one of their greatest triumphs as victory therehelped their return to the Football League in 2006 - and at least come away with a point from the League Two newboys.
But the way Exeter saw off the Reds in the second half was a cause for concern as Stanley now need to get back on the winning trail as soon as possible if they are to make sure they are challenging in the top half.
"Me and John (Coleman) are really bad losers and if you have that in your team, it drives you on and we need to instill that into the team at the minute," said Bell.
"We don’t want to be pushovers and we want to be hard to beat and we need people who really want to win games.
"In the second half, we didn’t have that and it was alarming.
"The players need to know how we feel and what is expected of them. To be fair, in the second half, Exeter deserved the win."
The deciding moment in the game came on the stroke of half-time after the Reds had taken charge and led 1-0.
The referee had held up two minutes of injury time and, with exactly two minutes on the clock, Dean Moxey’s long throw bounced across the area where Matt Gill got in front of the defence to rifle the ball home.
"That was the turning point," said Bell. "It was disappointing that it happened in the third minute of stoppage time when the referee had held up two minutes.
"But we still have to defend the throw in and they have scored and gone in on a high. That was the killer blow.
"We had a spell in the second half but then it was one-way traffic.
"We defended quite well but there were a couple of gaps in defence late on which was alarming - we need to brush up on that."
The first half was like a tennis match as the ball went from end to end in an entertaining clash.
And it was a welcome show for the Stanley fans who were relieved the game was on after a five hour journey through torrential rain which eased in Devon.
Loan striker Jamie Clarke had his best 45 minutes in a Reds’ shirt as he caused the Grecians defence no end of problems by getting in behind them.
Early on, he had a shot saved by Jones before winger David Worrall, another who was a threat, sent the Blackburn Rovers frontman racing free and he fired beyond Jones for his first goal for Stanley on 11 minutes - and his first ever league goal.
Paul Mullin had an effort ruled off- side following Peter Cavanagh’s through ball and Worrall played Clarke in again but his first touch let him down with only Jones to beat.
But, despite sustained Reds’ pressure. it was certainly not all Stanley as Exeter made sure Kenny Arthur was kept occupied.
They looked to have strong appeals for a penalty on six minutes when Robbie Williams - in for the injured Colin Murdock - tackled Ben Watson in the area.
Then Arthur pushed over a Watson shot and he superbly kept out Ryan Harley’s blistering strike with the rebound falling to ex-Premiership striker Marcus Stewart two yards out but he inexplicably fired straight at the stopper.
Arthur then parried away another Harley blast in a thrilling half.
But it was Stanley who were denied a second by inches as, after good build-up around the Exeter area on the stroke of half-time, John Mullin found Worrall who passed to Clarke.
He in turn fed Cavanagh before John Miles raced onto the ball and his delicate chip hit the crossbar.
It looked like that would be it until Exeter then got the last gasp equaliser - and Coleman’s team talk suddenly changed.
But so did Paul Tisdale’s and it was the Grecians boss who was able to rally his troops for the second half.
Richard Logan was guilty of missing some gilt-edged chances for City - one when he had a free header but, for some reason, headed it into Williams’ back rather than on target.
Then Watson broke clean through before being stopped by Phil Edwards and a sliced clearance by Edwards gave Logan a free shot six yards out but he failed to connect with the ball - and was taken off shortly after.
Like at Gillingham the week before, a goal seemed to be coming and it was no surprise when the lively Watson beat the offside trap to race through and slot past the outrushing Arthur on 68 minutes.
A late tackle by Williams denied Watson a second and Arthur did well to defy Stewart in the last ten minutes.
Coleman put on Fola Onibuje with Stanley going three up front but they failed to test keeper Jones again.
"We did miss quite a few chances and it was a very open game. It could have been 5-4 at half-time," added Bell.
"It we had come in at 1-0 then we would have had a good chance to build on that but it wasn’t to be.
"In the second half, the ball was bouncing off David Worrall and Jamie Clarke cheaply which it wasn’t in the first half.
"We are thin on the ground squad-wise and we didn’t have much on the bench to go on and change it.
"We need to strengthen the squad."