How harmful Vinny Mukendi’s 93rd minute equaliser is remains to be seen but it certainly hurt Stanley last Friday night.
After battling back from 1-0 down to score two goals in six minutes with 10 minutes left to play, it looked like the Reds, while not playing to their best, had grabbed another vital three points with the chase for an automatic promotion spot well and truly on.
But Macc sub Mukendi fired home the last-gasp leveller and then many of the results conspired against Stanley on Saturday as they dropped out of the top seven and now it’s a test for the Reds to bounce back tomorrow and show off their play-off credentials.
Boss John Coleman knows this result didn’t severly hamper their play-off charge but, after one defeat in 14 games, he had his sights set on automatic promotion.
But he admits three successive away draws havemeant Stanley are looking now more at the top seven rather than the top three,
"We are healthily in the play-off picture but, as regards automatic promotion, we are going to need a lot of slip-ups now and we can’t afford to slip up," he said, with five games left to play.
Coleman knows that, after beating Macc 3-0 earlier in the season, they could have run up another comfortable score against the Silkmen if they had played to their best.
Instead events conspired against them. Sean McConville had a goal ruled out in the first half for off-side when the ball looked to have come off Macc’s Hamza Bencherif into the midfielder’s path. "We had a great goal disallowed – they must have changed the rules overnight and not told anybody," fumed the boss.
"Their lad has played the ball to our player which brings him back onside and he scores. They must have changed the rules. I think if it had counted we would have gone and seen the game out comfortably."
This was after the Reds were already trailing to Bencherif’s opener after the Stanley defence couldn’t defend a long throw from Lewis Chalmers – who was at the Crown Ground as a youth player.
It is like the land of the giants at Moss Rose as the majority of the Macc players are over 6ft and boss Gary Simpson admitted his target was to exploit the lack of height in the Reds’ line-up.
But Stanley should still have made one count before the break. As well as the disallowed goal, Jimmy Ryan also blasted well over with the goal at his mercy.
After the break, Macc striker Tyrone Barnett – picked up from non-league and now said to be chased by Reading – was their main threat and did almost make it two when he burst through but Alex Cisak kept him out.
Saying that, two players from the Reds’ Conference-winning side were trying single-handedly to get Stanley back on track.
Phil Edwards ran from his own half before forcing a smart save out of Jose Veiga, then a flick on from Terry Gornell set up skipper Andy¿Procter and the long-serving midfielder scored a wonder goal from 20 yards to get the Reds back on level terms with 17 minutes left.
The 27-year-old showed how much it meant to him by running half the length of the pitch to celebrate with the three coach loads of noisy Accy fans.
And it was only six minutes later when Carl Tremarco tripped Gornell in the area and referee Steve Rushton pointed to the spot.
Edwards has missed just one of 12 penalties this season and he was never going to mis-fire on this one as he put the Reds ahead with just 11 minutes to go.
The furious Tremarco felt the spot kick was no more than a tangle of legs and, moments after getting a yellow for the tackle itself, he was shown another one and therefore a red for venting his spleen at Rushton’s assistant.
With 10 men, even the most ardent Macc fans must have thought the buoyant Stanley had sealed the win.
That was until Bencherif got the ball on the left wing late on, and fired in a cross which Shaun¿Brisley touched on and it fell to the unmarked Mukendi at the back post to fire home.
The Reds defenders were adamant he was off-side but it was hard to see with the flurry of bodies in the box. Coleman was not willing to use that as a reason for the Reds dropping two points.
He said: "The disappointing thing is we threw Kevin Long on when they put a couple of giants on but they had a man unmarked in the box.
"We knew what to expect and it’s poor marking.
"I know the players have appealed for off-side but I won’t be complaining. I was more concerned about the first ‘goal’ not being given."
But the Reds chief did give credit to his side, who had played 11 games in 34 days, as they have strongly forced their way into the play-off picture.
"We were comfortably the better side whether they had 10 men or not.
"The lads have wrestled control of the game, scored a good goal to make it 1-1 and then scored a good penalty.
"It’s disappointing because Macc haven’t really threatened us but fair play to Macc as they have kept going.
"You can see how much it meant to them after the game which tells you how far we have come that they see getting a point at home against us as a massive scalp.
"But we just seem to be cursed away from home at the moment. That’s three draws on the bounce when we should have won this game hands down."
Coleman added: "We are a smashing side, we have tried to pass it on an awful pitch, played all the football but have been wasteful in front of goal.
"And I thought we were over our nervous 90s but I think they have come back to haunt us.
"A lapse of concentration has cost us big-time."
Whether it’s a vital point or two points dropped will only be known in May.