AS FARNBOROUGH pressed in the final 10 minutes, there was that horrible feeling that the new year hadn't brought a new Accrington Stanley.
In 2004, the Reds slipped down the league after throwing victories away in games they had dominated.
They looked destined to do it again against Boro but the players showed that in 2005 there is a more resilient look about Stanley, and dropping three points is no longer on the agenda.
On Saturday, the Reds held on and their league win over Farnborough, alongside last week's victory over Halifax, has moved Stanley up into the commanding position of fourth spot - and suddenly they are back among the favourites for a play-off spot.
Boss John Coleman admitted he has given his side a target in their 16 league games left to make the top five places.
He won't say what it is - one guess is of at least 10 wins because of the closeness of the league - but victories over the struggling sides are vital, especially with a tough February which begins with Scarborough, followed by Exeter and then league leaders Barnet.
And the boss knows his side have another gear to step up into as once again they didn't take their chances against relegation-haunted Boro.
They did, though, shut them out at the back despite an edgy last few minutes and the win will have done morale at the Interlink the world of good.
"The results went well for us on Saturday," said the Reds chief as Stevenage, Barnet and Scarborough all drew with Hereford losing.
"We have set ourselves a mini-target, what we need to make the play-offs, and that's three points chalked off it.
"We were comfortable in the game but I was disappointed with the sloppy goal we gave away - we will have to iron that out.
"But we played some excellent football and deservedly went 2-1 up. Then they came back strong and put the little lad on up front and he was a handful. In the last ten minutes, they probably deserved to get something out of it.
"But I am a great believer that if you play well, you will win more games than you don't and we know that the way we played in the last ten minutes was not acceptable. We won't keep winning if we play like that but I will make sure we don't keep playing like that.
"We now have to take every opportunity - especially at home - and go and win games."
Coleman did change things around bringing back striker Lee McEvilly - who had spent the last two games on the bench - in place of midfielder Andy Procter in a 4-4-2 formation.
And, whatever was said before the match, certainly worked as Stanley started off all guns blazing.
Most of the early threats came through winger Rory Prendergast who looks like he is getting back to his best following a double hernia operation earlier on in the season.
He launched in two dangerous corners after just four minutes and McEvilly did well to get his head to the last one but it just whisked over the bar. The winger continued to run the Boro defence ragged with Danny Allen-Page struggling at right back.
The swirling wind and driving rain made is difficult in the early stages - and made it something of a lottery- but McEvilly was there to make sure that Stanley were the winners and he turned their possession into a deserved lead after just 11 minutes.
Prendergast once more played in an accurate cross, Paul Mullin just missed it but it fell to McEvilly who headed the ball home. It was a great goal for the striker who repaid his manager's confidence in bringing him back to the starting line-up.
There could have been more for the Reds with Mullin just missing another Prendergast ball in - although he felt he was dragged back - while Steve Jagielka looked to continue his current strike rate with three in three games after Ian Craney headed the ball down for him on 18 minutes. Jagielka only had keeper Craig Holloway to beat and he did well to chip the goalie - but unfortunately for the home team, it also bounced over the goalline.
And Craney just failed to get on the end of another superb Prendergast ball in as it was all Stanley.
Farnborough had rarely threatened but showed glimpses of the side who had beat Stanley earlier in the season when a Gary Holloway corner had to be headed off the line by Peter Cavanagh.
And, against the run of play, they were suddenly level - and that 2004 feeling came flooding back for the Reds. They failed to clear a Sasha Opinel free kick, the ball was rolling free in the area with Paul Crichton and Gary Holloway both charging for it. The Boro midfielder got their first and toe-poked the ball into the bottom corner of the net on 22 minutes.
To be fair to the Reds, their heads didn't go down with McEvilly firing a low shot which Craig Holloway scrambled to, and defender Robbie Williams got in at the far post from another Prendergast free kick but he headed wide. And the lively McEvilly blasted another 30-yard free kick just off target.
But Stanley finally found a way through on 56 minutes. Craney passed to Mullin who fed McEvilly and he charged into the area and picked his spot - tucking the ball in at the near post for his tenth goal of the campaign.
The bustling forward could have had a hat-trick as he again tried his luck from long range, Craney felt he should have had a penalty when challenged in the area and a Mike Flynn header from a Prendergast corner was cleared off the line..
Another Craney strike was somehow pushed out by Holloway while Prendergast thought he had scored - deservedly for his efforts - after he pounced following a goalkeeping mistake but play was called back to the half-way line for a throw in which the assistant - but not the ref - had seen.
Then came the nervous last 10 minutes where Boro subs Ali Chaaban and winger Adrian Deane threatened to ruin Stanley's day.
They both gave the visitors a new impetus as the Stanley legs tired, and Chaaban forced two good saves out of Crichton and blasted another effort over. Then Deane's ball in found Paul Harkness but his header was blocked while Harkness should have levelled on 88 minutes when clean through but fired well wide. And, in injury time, Deane's effort was spilled by Crichton for a corner which fortunately was hooked clear.
"We did get nervy and sat back in the last 10 minutes and that is something we will have to address again in training," said Coleman. "We know we can't play as deep as that as we are going to get punished eventually.
"We were comfortable up until then. Rory was always a threat with his crosses, we could have had a couple of penalties which never happened and everyone knows what Lee (McEvilly) can do."
Coleman refused to accept it was inspired management to bring McEvilly back into the starting line-up. "It is a case of picking what side is right on the day. Some days Lee will play, some days he won't - it is the same with Andy Procter, who has done well for us this season but we thought we would give him a rest. Now we have just got to get our heads down and get some consistency."