STANLEY were just inches away from breaking their Scarborough hoodoo.
The Reds haven't won at the McCain Stadium in two seasons but when Andy Mangan raced onto a Gary Roberts cross with virtually the last kick of the game, it looked certain the three points would be Stanley's.
But it continued to be a not so happy hunting ground for the Reds as the striker's close range shot cannoned off the crossbar as manager John Coleman held his head in his hands.
"Andy's miss just defied belief," said the frustrated Reds boss after the Bank Holiday Monday clash.
"And then you just wonder whether you're not meant to win.
"No one means to miss chances on purpose and no one is more sick than Andy. He will be desperate to play again and put it out of his system.
"He is a confident character and I don't think it will affect him."
Teenager Mangan's head went down after the game as he looked gutted and felt he had cost the Reds three points.
But in reality, Stanley should have never been reliant on a last gasp goal after cruising into a two goal lead.
Coleman brought Steve Jagielka and Andy Procter to the starting line-up while defender Robbie Williams dropped to the bench to make way for Michael Welch.
And, as Boro had done to them last season, Stanley steam-rolled the home side in the first 15 minutes.
With just 15 seconds on the clock, Seadogs keeper Leigh Walker's first action was to pick the ball out of the net.
From the kick off, right winger Jagielka had played in a ball to the far post, Paul Mullin headed it down, the ball bobbled around with Ian Craney and David Brown in the area but it fell to Jagielka who finished perfectly low into the bottom corner of the net for a dream start.
Boro hadn't touched the ball and they seemed stunned by the early set back.
Welch could have doubled his account for the season with a diving header from a Craney corner which wasn't far away in the early stages.
Stanley were then held up when an opposition player was stretchered off for the second game running.
On Saturday, Santos Gaia left the pitch after clashing heads with his own team-mate but at Boro it was a late, but not malicious, challenge from Andy Procter which left Boro captain Steve Baker with a suspected broken leg.
The home crowd were furious Procter only saw yellow and they were even more aggrieved minutes later when Stanley broke and Craney was scythed down in the area by Boro's local youngster Michael Coulson, who was making his home debut.
The ref looked to the assistant, although there could be no arguments, and signalled penalty for the second game running for the Reds.
Craney and captain Peter Cavanagh both battled to take charge of the situation but the skipper won and, with the pressure on after Saturday's spot kick miss, he calmly sent the keeper the wrong way.
Last season, Boro had won 4-0 in the same fixture and it looked likely that Stanley would get a similar welcome revenge.
But the Reds never make life easy for their fans and Boro began to take charge and piled on the pressure on the visitors. They forced 10 corners in the first half and, although they did give the Reds a few jitters, they did defend them well.
Coulson headed over, dangerman Mark Quayle screwed an effort wide while David Elebert's diving header was off-target.
But it was Stanley who could have got the killer third when David Brown, playing up front after a spell on the wing, shrugged off the attentions of subsititute Ashley Lyth.
The striker raced ahead of the defender and his shot looked to be nestling in the bottom corner of the net - but it went the opposite side of the post much to the striker's frustration.
3-0 and the game would have been over but Boro continued to press and, from a goal kick with seconds of the half remaining, Eccles got the ball on the left wing, crossed to Coulson and he set up Quayle who turned and tucked the ball into the net.
"It was a bad time to concede," fumed Coleman. "If you go in 2-0 at half-time you see the game out but you give them a lift with a goal at that time."
The match could have gone either way after the break with Craney unlucky not to get off the mark for the season with a volley touched over by Walker after Mullin set him up .
And Boro's Quayle got a shot in from close range but his effort was blocked by the Reds defence.
Lyth recovered after a crossfield ball from Craney sent Brown clean through and did enough to put the striker off before Boro celebrated the equaliser which never should have come.
Sub Jermaine Palmer's ball from the right was headed down by dangerman Ian Clark and sub Jake Speight got the slightest of touches with his head to steer the ball into the bottom corner of the net.
Sheffield United loan man Speight is fast turning into a super sub for Boro as he came off the bench to score a goal in Boro's late 2-0 win over Dagenham on Saturday.
Stanley suddenly then seemed to realise they had thrown three points away as Gary Roberts and Mangan entered the fray to good effect.
Boro couldn't cope with Roberts pace and the winger, along with Mangan, upped the tempo and gave the home defence a torrid time.
And Roberts couldn't believe he hadn't grabbed a goal when his strike from the edge of the area was heading for the top corner of the net before it was headed off the line by home defender Paul Foot on 84 minutes.
But Boro could still have grabbed an unlikely win with Quayle appealing for a penalty as he felt he was pushed over by Leam Richardson and Tony Hackworth's long range shot was gathered by the keeper.
Then came Mangan's miss with the ref blowing straight after.
"You have to take the positives out of the negatives," continued Coleman.
"Andy was very bright when he came on and was instrumental in setting up the chance himself, with a great turn, playing Gary Roberts out and getting himself into the box.
"He didn't miss it on purpose and will be chomping at the bit to get his next game under his belt and score a goal. But our problem is we do silly things, which is so frustrating as a manager.
"With five seconds to go in the first half, we allow a cheap ball to come into our box and we don't deal with it. It was devastating to concede the way we did.
"We improved in the second half, passed the ball well and made numberous chances and had enough to win three games but didn't really clear our lines well and sloppy defending has cost us again.
"To go into a 2-0 lead and then throw it away is sickening. We did the same at Burton last year and Northwich and it is always hard to take. Sometimes it is like getting beat.
"But, at the end of the day, we didn't lose but maybe it is the only saving grace that we didn't."
Coleman managed to find a moment of humour despite being gutted in the after-match press conference but it is a joke he hopes he won't have to repeat.
"If I was you, I wouldn't let me walk your dog because I can't keep hold of a lead.".