As two tribes prepare to go to footballing war next Sunday with that first derby clash of the season, so this afternoon's FA Cup third round draw gave a fair indication of which way Fortune's cookie was crumbling right now.
For the south folk, it was a home tie against the winners of the abandoned Chesterfield versus Droylsden tie after Sir Trevor Booking did everyone in IP1 a favour by plucking Town's ball out of the bag first and granting Jim Magilton's men a comfortable-looking home tie.
For the north folk, however, Miss Fortune continued to reign supreme on Glenn Roeder's struggling Championship side.
For if you are to be drawn away, at least make it somewhere big and glamorous. A first visit to The Emirates, for example.
Or if not, away to a far-flung outpost of the non-league scene with the added prospect then of a live TV windfall – as City enjoyed with that trip to Tamworth in 2007.
Instead, England goalkeeping coach Ray Clemence saw fit to hand Norwich's long-suffering away fans an all-too familiar trip back to The Valley; away to managerless Charlton Athletic on the weekend of January 3rd and 4th.
“I'm happy with the draw – except that I would have obviously have prefered us to be at home,” Canary boss Roeder told the club's official site this afternoon.
With memories of yesterday's events at Hillsborough still fresh in the memory and that 3-2 defeat at Sheffield Wednesday complete with the usual array of Canary catastrophes after such a one-way opening spell, Roeder clearly felt that the City faithful deserved better.
“I think the supporters deserve and would have enjoyed a third rond cup game at Carrow Road,” added Roeder. “But it wasn't to be and we'll go to The Valley and look to win. We won't be going there trying to get a draw and a replay, that's for sure.”
The Canaries are actually due to face the Addicks some 12 days earlier in the crunch Championship game at Carrow Road on December 20. Like the forthcoming away trip to Watford – not to mention this Sunday's derby encounter – the league and cup double-header against Charlton could now do much to decide the whole tenor and tone of the rest of Norwich's season.
Will there be no more than a desperate fight against relegation to look forward to come the spring? Or can a little FA Cup run light the blue touch-paper league-wise?
Magilton, of course, was delighted by the fact that Sir Trevor placed his hand around their ball.
“It's a home draw and that's all you can ask for,” Magilton told his own club website this afternoon.
Town, of course, won't know who their opponents are for at least another ten days as the Spirites and the Bloods prepare to meet again in ten days time back at Saltergate – only this time, hopefully, minus the fog that caused the game to be abandoned at half-time with the Blue Square North side 1-0 up.
The decision by referee Steve Cook was branded “scandalous” by the club's manager-chairman, Dave Pace.
“At the end of the day, if the referee was going to call it off he should have done it at the beginning,” Pace told reporters afterwards, clearly upset that his battling non-league side will have to do it all again in ten days time after Carl Lamb had given them that potentially priceless 35th minute lead. Once the fog descended, however, and it was all left to count for nothing.
“The ref came into the dressing room and I said: 'Give it 15 minutes…'” said Pace. “But he said he was calling it off straight away. To let us get 1-0 up in the FA Cup and then call it off is scandalous.
“If the roles had been reversed this would not have happened,” added Pace, clearly one to speak his mind. “If they had been 1-0 up, then I don't think the game would have been called off.”
Needless to say his opposite number Lee Richardson was more than happy with the decision as the weather rode to their rescue. “It was 100 per cent correct to abandon the game, but I think the referee could have done it at the start or after five or ten minutes.
“The ref gave himself a bit of a problem with Droylsden taking the lead, but I don't think anyone could argue that the game wasn't being affected by the fog.”
Be it Chesterfield or their non-league opponents, Magilton insisted that both would be given every respect. “Whoever we face will relish the challenge of coming to Portman Road and will look to cause an upset,” he said. “We have to be switched on and do a professional job and make sure that doesn't happen.”
At least both East Anglian sides managed to avoid the biggest banana skin of the lot – a trip to near-neighbours Histon United who carved out a place for themselves in the FA Cup history books with today's famous 1-0 win over Leeds United. Swansea now head into the Cambridgeshire countryside in the hope of avoiding Leeds' fate.
Tie of the round is likely to be Barrow's trip to Premiership Middlesbrough; the Shrimpers pulled out the money-spinning one with that trip to Chelsea fro Southend United.
None of which is likely to be of much interest to either Roeder or Magilton as the two managers begin an intense week of preparation ahead of the derby meeting.
It was interesting to note, however, that when he looked ahead to that trip to Charlton Roeder noted that the Addicks too were a 'club in transition'. Quite when the Canaries come out of their period of 'transition' is just one of the questions that is likely to dog the manager after his 13 months at the helm – particularly if Sunday's events don't go as well as everyone north of the Waveney might plan.
“Charlton are a club going through a transition like ourselves,” said Roeder, with Phil Parkinson now in the caretaker's role following Alan Pardew's dismissal earlier this month.
“I would expect them to have their managerial situation sorted out by the time that we play them,” he added. “The Valley is always a very tough place to go, but we will go there with a very positive attitude – and try to win at the first time of asking.”