And so it came to pass that the Angel Drinkell appeared before Stanley and spake words of profound wisdom.
'Do not take the road to the City of the sparkling Palace, because it is owned by an evil King of Jordan, and he will rob you blind. His army is foul to spy and play football in a kick and rush stylee. They will slaughter the meek men of Norfolk and the journey home will be vile.'
'But Angel Drinkell' pleaded Stan, 'the one they call 'Jonah' Millar will not travel, surely there must be hope? and it will get me out of a meal at the in-laws.'
'Don't be a numpty,' declared the Angel. 'Stay at home and listen to Goreham, for the Lord has declared you will never win at Selhurst and you are bound to end up sitting behind a pillar and get a parking ticket? again.'
Thus Stan spent Boxing Day lunchtime at his in-laws with an ear-piece stuck in his ear, looked to the sky and thanked Angel Drinkell, from the very bottom of his heart, for his words of warning.
The strangest part of this tale is that Stan genuinely considered going in the first place. What on earth was he thinking of? If we hadn't drawn Charlton in the Cup, thus meaning a trip to the capital loomed a week later, he'd have gone.
Worse than that, such are the deluded workings of a football fan's mind he'd have gone with genuine belief we could win it. Why do we do it to ourselves? Indeed had the journey down been undertaken, it would have merely added to the sense of 'We can do this!' delusion.
Instead, Stan tucked into his Boxing Day lunch and exchanged pleasantries, whilst the usual story unfolded 130 miles distant.
A back four that had kept a clean sheet six days earlier was unnecessarily tinkered with, our possession lead to few clear cut chances, and these were ultimately squandered, and we defended set pieces like Mattishall Under-11s? girls!
Why are we so error-prone and brittle at the back, after all Roeder was a defender himself? He played at a high level? 100s of times, he should be able to solve this problem 14 months after inheriting it.
He constantly talks of superb back-room teams and players looking sharp week in, week out up at Colney, and yet we are truly dreadful at the back, time after time after time. To mention nothing of hideously wasteful up front.
We look so weak, that are reinforcements not forthcoming in the month ahead, Stan fears the worst.
You just can't keep gifting goals and points to the opposition. Watford, Swansea, Preston, Palace? twice.. Coventry?
It is happening far too often for it to be an aberration; there really is something deeper amiss.
Is it the over-all quality of the players? Or the fact they don't play together enough to understand each others game? Is it a lack of Roeder's much vaunted 'footballing intelligence' by the players, or an inability of the coaches to get information into those who cross the white line on their behalf?
All said and done, Stan's just fed up with the constant gut-wrenching disappointment of it all. Fed up with constantly looking over his shoulder at the dwindling number of teams beneath us and mentally calculating whether 50 points will be enough to save us.
He's fed up with listening to excuses and promises of corners being turned; dreams of Taylor, Iverson and budding Arsenal superstars turning out to be just that, dreams. But most of all, he's fed up with turkey!
So Stanley digested the result and another 3000 calories, poured himself yet another Christmas tipple, sunk into his armchair and waited for the healing hands of footballing delusion to cure his pain with a wave of unfounded optimism when the Angel Drinkell appeared before him once more and spake with much solemnity.
'I bring bad tidings from the East (Midlands). The men from the Forest have slayed their King and are marching on Norwich. There are many men and they are already at Grantham carrying with them a new-manager-bounce. Be warned Stanley? and tell you're people!'
Stanley cursed beneath his breath necked his drink and girded his loins for battle with another slice of Christmas cake!