The National League North’s Chorley team is in the fourth round of the FA Cup for the first time in its 138-year history after defeating a derby team after an outbreak of Covid-19 only put up a whole team of youth players.
Since interim manager Wayne Rooney and his entire first team team were isolated, development coach Pat Lyons opted for a derby team without a single minute of playing time. That was how inexperienced the away team was. The Derby players wore the numbers 1 through 11 on their jerseys as none of them actually had a high-ranking squad number.
They made the Championship Club proud with their endeavors, but ultimately could not avoid elimination after goals from Connor Hall and Mike Calveley rightly made Chorley the first team in the sixth division since Havant & Waterlooville 2008 was The Lancashire Club is now one win away from just being the 10th team at their level to reach the fifth round.
But no matter what happens next, Chorley will be in the last 16 in the hat, as the draw for rounds four and five will take place at the same time.
It was a whole week for her manager Jamie Vermiglio, 38, who combines his role as manager with his daily work as headmaster of the primary school. After schools were due to close on Monday, Vermiglio admitted the draw wasn’t high on his priority list.
But they were ahead within 10 minutes after Derby failed to clear the lines from a corner of Willem Tomlinson, and Hall passed the near post. Four minutes earlier, Derby thought they had won a penalty when Matthew Urwin defeated Cameron Cresswell, but referee Kevin Friend changed his decision after deciding Urwin won the ball.
This was actually the next derby that had bothered Chorley all afternoon. The young Rams players certainly didn’t lack the spirit, but they lacked the physical condition to keep up with their older opponents, even though the hosts, who ranked 125th in the league pyramid, are a part-time outfit. </ Chorley dominated most of the competition, and after several near misses on either side of the half, her control was finally rewarded with seven minutes from time when Calveley shot home from a cross from Elliot Newby to secure her place in the next round .
« I’m very proud of them and delighted with the players who have put so much effort into this season, » said Vermiglio.
« For a team that scored zero after four games finished last in the National League North, making it to the fourth round is incredible. «
« First and foremost, it’s the trust it gives us – Chorley is on the map now and for us it’s a boost. We’re in the spotlight and it’s good to be out there for this publicity too. » Secondary is the financial side of it.
« We made about £ 250,000 before today, gosh knows what it will be now. It will surely be £ 300,000 or £ 400,000. We could potentially reach £ 500,000 now, and for a club like us, that’s not just the case: « save us, it allows us to grow. »
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