NOTTS County proved to be more than just Magpies in name as they inflicted another defeat on Stanley.
The home side swooped to steal the spoils from a Reds’ side seemingly committed to the conservation of their host’s League Two status.
Stanley had a chance to confirm their own safety, but left it too late to show a bumper crowd what they are capable of.
And John Coleman’s side surrendered to a single goal - consigning them to another disappointing defeat on the road and their fifth loss in the last six games.
The talk before Saturday’s game was of defensive issues, with Aswad Thomas and Leam Richardson suspended and Darran Kempson recalled to Shrewsbury.
Graham Branch and Sean Webb stepped into the breach but it was a familiar story of a lapse of concentration at a set piece that cost them dear.
County’s solitary strike came courtesy of midfielder Ryan Jarvis after 37 minutes.
After Branch ended Neil McKenzie’s run by putting the ball behind, the Reds set themselves up for the corner but weren’t quick enough to react after Branch had blocked the initial shot.
Jarvis pounced for a second bite at the cherry, driving the ball past Kenny Arthur to open the scoring.
"It was a very bad goal. A player unmarked at the far post gets his initial shot blocked and he has time and space then to pick his spot in the corner," reflected Coleman.
"We’ve got to put pressure on the ball because you aren’t going to get away with that in the box.
"We didn’t get away with free shots in the box so I don’t know why they should."
The goal was demonstrative of a below-par first half performance which saw the Reds fail to muster a single shot on goal, and left thankful to the agility of Arthur on more than one occasion.
"We were awful," said Coleman. "We couldn’t keep the ball, we couldn’t mark men, we couldn’t get tight and we didn’t put them under any pressure.
"The minute that we did put them under pressure then it seemed that we’d get some joy.
"Maybe I've got to take some responsibility for the team I picked."
A second half revival - after a change in personnel - saw Stanley threaten to restore parity, but they didn’t go close enough for their manager’s liking.
"We had a good go but the goal eluded us. We didn’t work their keeper.
"I don’t think he had a save to make; the shots that we had were just off target but we should be taking the game to teams a lot more than what we are doing."
The Reds were on the back foot from the first minute of the game, with the new look backline tested by a Jarvis cross and a deflected Danny Crow shot.
Arthur’s first real action came on the 12 minute mark when veteran striker Jason Lee’s shot took a nick off Branch just inside the box, but the Scottish keeper got down well to make the save.
The pressure was all in the Stanley half and the goal soon arrived with Jarvis netting from the left side of the penalty area.
And he might have had a second two minutes from the break when he volleyed from the edge of the box, but saw his effort fly the wrong side of the post.
At the break Coleman was active, replacing Andy Todd and David Mannix with Jay Harris and Shaun Whalley and the changes seemed to have an effect.
Although Lee headed over in the early stages, Whalley and youngster Bobby Grant both flashed efforts wide.
Arthur denied sub Lawrie Dudfield just after the hour mark, but by now it was Russell Hoult in the other goal under pressure.
First Whalley produced a fine run down the left to get into the area on 67 minutes but dragged his effort wide, before turning provider eight minutes later when striker Paul Mullin’s touch was not quite enough to convert his right wing cross.
Whalley was one of the few plus points of a tough afternoon.
"He’s got that bit of pace," said the manager of the former Witton man.
"It was a trappy pitch to try and pass the ball a lot so maybe the more direct approach was more suitable and it certainly seemed that way in the second half."
But arguably the best and closest chance came seven minutes from the end when Craney met captain Peter Cavanagh’s cross with a fine volley. With Hoult seemingly beaten, the ball fizzed inches wide of the post.
Full-time brought the familiar sense of "what might have been" and the customary disappointment at the lack of consistency.
"This Jekyll and Hyde is absolutely killing me and I can’t wait for the season to end to be honest," added Coleman.