Last season, Stanley left Moss Rose devastated after a late Macc goal consigned them to a draw and kept them outside the play-off spots.
It didn’t have a bearing on their fifth position at the end of the season but boss John Coleman admitted the April point left him fuming with the heat on in the run-in.
On Saturday, the Reds boss again left Moss Rose with a point – but this one was more gratefully received as it could prove one gained, rather than two dropped.
The Stanley side are different from last season in terms of personnel and the new boys are still taking time to gel and find their feet with the Reds’ system and in the league.
It has been a hit and miss season so far with the pressure at the moment more about getting away from the bottom spots in the table – and also finally notching that elusive away win.
And Macc are also a different side, expecting to be challenging higher up the table this season – they are certainly not a pushover as their record at Moss Rose shows.
The Silkmen have lost only two games at home this season and have conceded just seven goals at Moss Rose, meaning they have one of the tightest home defences in the league.
It’s hoped that long gone are the days when Macc and Stanley were battling every season to avoid the dreaded drop into non-league football where both clubs plied their trade not that long ago.
Instead Gary Simpson has built a side which have – and will – upset higher opposition this season with striker George Donnelly, who scored 12 goals last season for Stockport and Fleetwood, and two lively wingers in Colin Daniel and Sam Wedgbury and a solid defence with Shaun Brisley their star.
Not only was he strong at the back but it was Brisley who made his mark, thumping home a powerful header from a Wedgbury corner as the Reds once again fell victim to a set-piece – something they have been caught out with too often for Coleman’s liking this season.
But an inspired substitution by the Reds chief brought Bournemouth loanee Jayden Stockley on and, 12 minutes from time, he took his goal well as Stanley chalked up their fourth 1-1 out of their nine away games this season.
"You could get rich betting on us to draw 1-1 as that seems to be the story of our season," admitted Coleman.
"It is not too bad drawing away 1-1 if you win your home games so the pressure is on to win our home games now.
"I am disappointed we conceded from a set piece but it was a fantastic finish by Jayden for the equaliser and that will give him confidence.
"We knew not to under-estimate Macclesfield. A lot of people have been surprised by how well they have done this season but I am not.
"They have slowly built under Gary Simpson and they have had some great results at home.
"I remember last year we left this ground devastated after they had scored early, we scored twice and then they scored a late equaliser.
"But it was the same as Saturday – a draw and a point. We only got the same for both games.
"Last season, about this time, we went on a run and hopefully we can do the same this season."
The Reds are in the middle of a tight table – 10 points off a play-off spot and eight points off the bottom two.
But Coleman will be hoping that a bonding session last week – where they went away for a couple of days – and the Macc result, which felt almost like a victory with time running out when Stockley scored, will be the catalyst for an improvement in results.
The Reds boss does like to field players against their former clubs – and Craig Lindfield got the call-up in the lone frontman role and battled hard without being allowed too many shots on goal in a game where chances were at a premium.
Ex-Macc men Sean Hessey and Kevin McIntyre were strong at the back – both, along with Kevin Long and Dean Winnard, making vital interceptions as the Reds went on the attack after the break leaving them susceptible to quick breakaways.
Luke Joyce also was busy at both ends of the park as the Reds did seem to have found a renewed energy to their play.
Goal-hero Stockley, who has been with the club almost a month, admitted: "There was a different vibe around this game.¿I knew we would equalise, it just felt like we would."
There was little to pick between the sides until Brisley thumped home his second goal of the season on 20 minutes.
Hessey went the closest for the Reds in the first half with a fierce, angled drive that was kept out by his former team-mate Jose Veiga.
Macc are a tall side and were always a threat from set-pieces while Stanley were unable to capitalise on theirs.
As time wore on, the Reds had to push forward in search of a leveller.
Winnard played more as a right-winger, Andy Procter moved forward to be part of the attacking force as the Reds went with three at the back.
This left them vulnerable and if Macc had been able to pick a better pass a couple of times when Donnelly and Ross Draper broke – and if the Stanley backline hadn’t put their bodies on the line – they might have put the game beyond the visitors.
The last 20 minutes were the liveliest of the game as both sides went for it with a Bryan Hughes shot saved by Veiga and Donnelly firing wide.
But then on came Stockley and Padraig Amond and they helped to turn the game around.
On 78 minutes, Winnard’s ball in bounced around the area and fell to Stockley.
He didn’t shoot first time but got it onto his stronger left foot and then powered home the equaliser.
There was still time for both sides to sweat, without either keeper being seriously tested.
Coleman added: "Apart from the goal, we defended quite well but what’s proving elusive for us at the moment is carving out chances.
"We are working on it and we will get there. That away win is also still eluding us but we feel we are getting closer."
There was certainly a more positive feeling leaving Moss Rose this season despite the Reds being in a lower position – and now they have to build on it.