THERE were enough talking points in this match to cover half-a-dozen games but the hard facts show that Stanley missed a golden chance to end their Stevenage jinx.
Stanley looked set to hand their promotion rivals a first home defeat of the season after Stevenage were reduced to ten men with Mickey Warner's dismissal and then trailed to Steve Jagielka fourth goal of the season at the break.
But Accrington's woeful second-half showing in the face of an impressive Stevenage fightback - inspired by the industry of Jon Nurse and skill of the highly-rated George Boyd - left Reds boss John Coleman frustrated as his side slipped to fourth in the table.
"My team did not defend as well as they could have and that was disappointing," said Coleman, who left out Mike Flynn and Chris Butler.
"That has got to improve if we are to be serious title challengers. The players have to look at themselves.
"We will sit down and look at the video of the g ame but they have to look at their individual performances.
"You cannot blame officials for things going against you. I was disappointed with the linesman but we cannot look at that. The officials do not kick balls into the net."
Stanley have never won at Broadhall Way with a 2-1 loss in their first season in the Conference followed by a forgettable 5-0 thumping there last season.
But it looked like they might put the hoodoo to rest as they posed some early questions of a shaky Stevenage defence.
Boro did have an early chance inside two minutes when a neat lay-off from former Burnley FC Football in the Community Officer Dino Maamria allowed Ollie Berquez to fire across the goal of Andy Dibble, making his Reds debut in place of the unavailable Darren Randolph.
But Jagielka went even closer for Accrington after debutant Daniel Ventre bravely won his header against the flying boot of Barry Laker to set up a chance which whizzed just past the post.
Paul Mullin then failed to direct a header on target minutes later as the Boro back-four were again exposed and Stevenage's problems mounted when Warner was booked twice in the space of ten minutes by Amy Rayner.
While the first yellow card was debatable, his second was impossible to argue against as he cynically halted the run of tricky winger Gary Roberts as Stanley poured forward on the break following a Boro corner on 26 minutes.
And Stanley doubled the punishment as they went ahead from the resultant free-kick as Roberts' effort rebounded to Jagielka whose scuffed effort rolled in with keeper Alan Julian seemingly unsighted.
A second goal then would surely have set Stanley on their way to a crucial fourth away win of the season and they were only inches away from coming up with the goods.
Mullin thought he had doubled the lead but former Spurs youngster Ronnie Henry somehow scrambled his effort off the line and the reprieve proved the catalyst for Stevenage's second-half revival.
It took Graham Westley's men just seven minutes to get level after the break as clever footwork from Boyd allowed him a shooting opportunity and although Dibble made the save, Nurse was on hand to force home his second goal of the season.
And Nurse was the driving force behind Boro going ahead six minutes later when he burst into the Accrington area and went tumbling all too easily under a challenge from Leam Richardson which prompted the assistant referee to flag for a penalty.
Captain Maamria accepted the responsibility and calmly sent Dibble the wrong way.
Julian then saved well from Ian Craney to protect the home side's lead as Stanley looked to repair the damage, while Boyd spectacularly fired wide after Dannie Bulman's raking crossfield pass picked out the flying winger.
Mullin thought he had got the Reds back on level terms when he latched onto a cross from Rommy Boco, who relaced debutant Danny Ventre at the break, but was again out of luck when his effort was disallowed for offside 15 minutes from time and this was the last time the Reds offered any serious threat.
And five minutes later Stevenage went 3-1 up to secure maximum points when target-man Darryn Stamp flicked on a long ball and Robbie Williams sliced over his own keeper under pressure from Maamria.
Boro were now on top and should have scored a fourth in added time following some more trickery by Nurse.
A mazy run and clever back heel gave Berquez the chance to net but the former Canvey Island man sliced the golden opportunity wide of a gaping goal.
"It was a game that was there for the taking. For the last 25 minutes Stevenage put us to shame with their work rate.
"For any of my teams, that's not good enough," added Coleman, whose search for a watertight back-four goes on.