IT'S HARD watching someone else's party.
Last season, Woking had to endure it as Accrington Stanley celebrated lifting the Nationwide Conference title in Surrey.
This time, it was the Reds who had to look on as the MK Dons fans raced onto the pitch and their players did a lap of honour as they looked forward to their play-off showdown and the possible prospect of League One football.
But that didn't mean the Reds didn't put on a mini celebration of their own.
Okay they lost the game against MK Dons and it was their seventh successive league defeat on their travels to finish the season in 20th place - the first time John Coleman and Jimmy Bell have finished in the lower half of the table as a management team.
But just actually still being in League Two became the main target in a season which has been too tense and nervy for the fans, players and management alike.
"I am glad it is all over as it has been hard," said Coleman, reflecting on the testing first campaign in the league where his side went 10 games without a win which plummeted them into the heart of the relegation struggle.
"We all need a rest but, knowing me, after a week I will be itching to get going again
"I have learnt a lot about myself and players this season and how to handle adversity and pressure.
"I have certainly learnt a lot about League Two. It is a physically demanding league and a very unforgiving league.
"Individual errors get punished a lot quicker than they did in the Conference and I expect the same as you move up the pyramid. The quality of finishing is better every step you go.
"We have proved we can score goals and now we have to answer our critics about our defensive capabilities and we have to go out and strengthen our defence.
"If we do then I think, as we are among the top three or four goalscorers in the league, there is no reason why we can't challenge at the other end."
And that means equalling teams like the MK Dons who are a big powerful side with their striker Izale McLeod the joint top scorer in the league with 21 goals this season. And they also have a solid defence which has become Coleman's main focuse for the summer.
While the Reds have no problems with scoring - they have 70 goals which is more than the three promoted clubs - it is the "goals against" column which makes poor reading with Stanley conceding 81 goals - almost two a game - to give them the worst defence in the league.
Alongside this, Coleman will be keen to improve the discipline next season as the Reds finished bottom of the League Two discipline table with 10 red cards and 109 yellows and they conceded the most penalties - 12.
And, the other thing the Reds boss knows needs working on is their form on their travels - where they have won just three league games all season - if they are to challenge higher up.
"We have put in some good performances away from home and it is a pity we have not got the results," said Coleman,
"But next season, we might have to play a little bit worse and hopefully get some more points from it."
Stanley have tried to play their passing game on their travels and they did the same on Saturday against the Dons, stunning the home fans by taking the lead.
That certainly wasn't in the script as Martin Allen's side needed a big margin of victory and a Swindon defeat to take the last automatic promotion spot.
But 16-year old Bobby Grant - given a surprise debut on the left wing - weaved his way into the area, evaded a couple of tackles and set up David Brown who finished well, low into the net - his fifth goal of the season.
The Dons did press and did put a lot of balls into the box but their former keeper David Martin got to everything, including a clearance from Jay Harris which almost went into the own net.
Their fans were getting frustrated as the home side almost tried to walk the ball in as the game flew from end to end.
And then the Reds could have really punished the MK Dons when Harris dispossessed Dean Lewington in midfield and put through striker Paul Mullin - who had just come back on after leaving the field for five minutes to have stitches following a clash of heads.
Stanley's top marksman did well to take the ball around the goalkeeper but could only watch as his effort hit the upright.
2-0 and MK Dons would probably have folded and accept that they were in the play-offs.
But instead they saw it as a let off and poured forward in numbers, appealing for a penalty just before half-time when they claimed Leam Richardson's hand had stopped Dominic Blizzard's effort on the line - with the left back frantically pointing to his chest and the referee agreeing.
Then the second half belonged to goalkeeper David Martin as he pulled off a string of superb saves to keep out his old side and showed why the Reds want to keep the on loan Liverpool man.
He denied Keith Andrews and Gareth Edds in quick succession from close range before Richardson felled McLeod for a penalty ten minutes after the restart.
The former Bolton man admitted he did accidentally take the striker's legs and Martin could not stop Andrews's accurate spot kick.
Martin continued to pull off heroics as the Dons swarmed forward in numbers. But he could do nothing when Jon-Paul McGovern's free kick fell nicely for Sean O'Hanlon at the far post to head the Dons into the lead 21 minutes from time.
Sub McGovern then hit the post with a stunning effort from 20 yards while the Reds keeper once more threw himself about in the area to deny the home side a bigger margin.
Martin - in what could be his last game for the Reds if Liverpool send him elsewhere next season - then came off to a round of applause from all ends of the grounds and Ian Dunbavin got his first League Two action of 2007, as he celebrated signing a new contract.
But he couldn't stop another easy goal when a corner to the far post found the head of the leaping Jude Stirling, who was only around four yards out, and he made it 3-1 seven minutes from the end.
There was still time for Andy Todd to get one back for the Reds at the death but, after a move involving Grant and Leighton McGivern, the winger had the empty goal at his mercy but got his feet tangled and amazingly cleared it instead of slotting the ball home.
Defender Michael Welch, released the following day, had one final chance to sign off in style with one of his long distance efforts from inside his own half but he was marginally wide of the Don's goal.
"I guess that game typifies our away form all season," said Coleman. "We played well, made chances then gave a couple of soft goals away. It was a smashing game for the neutral - end to end - and we played some great stuff and made some good chances.
"I don't think my nerves would have taken it if there had been something at stake but I do think we would have been a little tighter and got something from the game if there was more resting on it.
"I am disappointed we conceded three goals but we have got to take heart from the performance.
"If we get more steel into our defence I think we can be genuine contenders next year.
"We have conceded a lot of goals and they have been down to individual errors so the answer is to get better defenders in.
"But I was pleased for Bobby Grant on his debut. He played with no fear and had a smashing game and kept digging in."
He is one for the future and Coleman will be hoping that Accrington are the one's celebrating at the end of the final game next season.