LEAVING Spotland with a win - the last time Accrington fans felt that sensation was way back in 1956.
Ever since, it’s felt like the long walk home as the Reds have returned to Lancashire pointless.
But those that made the 16-mile trek to Dale in aid of the Save our Stanley fund last Saturday got the joy of returning with a spring in their stride - blisters aside - as Stanley finally did it.
The local derby win was certainly enjoyed by the Stanley players and fans - not that there is any bad feeling between the sides as it was like a mutual appreciation society between the managers after the clash.
Dale boss Keith Hill was quick to admit his promotion-chasing side deserved to lose saying: "Accrington were superb on the day and thoroughly deserved their win
"They’ve got a little bit of something special with Andy Procter in midfield and Michael Symes up front. They are a good outside bet for a play-off place."
And Stanley boss John Coleman was equally lavish about Dale. "Rochdale are one of the favourites to go up and I think they will go up so to come here and win is a magnificent achievement. In Chris Dagnall, they have one of the best strikers in League Two."
Dagnall showed his worth by firing home a 90th minute goal from the edge of the area which sneaked into the bottom corner of Ian Dunbavin’s net to deny the Reds a clean sheet.
But it was a Stanley hitman who is fast winning over the faithful thanks to some superb goals.
No one would have give Michael Symes a chance when he got the ball around 35 yards out in a seemingly harmless place.
So to chip it so accurately over former Reds keeper Kenny Arthur had everyone talking about the goal after the game, despite the striker struggling with a stomach bug and even though Dale were down to ten men at the time with Craig Dawson having stitches in his head.
"Michael Symes scored a fantastic goal and he probably missed easier chances," said Coleman. "It was a goal worthy of winning any game and is a strong contender for goal of the season - and we already have four or five candidates."
Symes was guilty of not putting in a couple of closer range efforts as Stanley created by far the better chances.
They were lively around the box despite struggling for numbers with widemen John Miles and Chris Turner on the bench injured.
But Sean McConville came in and proved a threat while Stanley’s back line were strong with Darran Kempson - himself struggling with a thigh strain - superbly marshalling the defence and making plenty of timely tackles to keep out what seemed a lacklustre Dale side, who are third in the table.
Stanley do always seem to get the jitters at Spotland despite usually taking the lead - this time Bobby Grant headed home a 45th minute opener, bravely launching himself above the Dale defence following Symes’ flick on.
Then came Symes wonder goal and a couple of missed chances for Stanley - with shouts of "dodgey keeper" at former Red Arthur - but even then it wasn’t game over.
And when Dagnall scored and the referee held up six minutes of injury time, there was definitely no relaxing from the visitor’s point of view.
But Coleman asked his side to see games out and they did just that with the manager proudly proclaiming: "Once the players cross that line they give their all and, while they may not be big on numbers, what they have is big hearts and a great team spirit."