- FA Cup fourth round match gets under way at 7.45pm.
- Match live on BT Sport
The chairman (and mega fan) speaks….
Ken Wright is a life-long fan and chairman of Chorley.
On the match…
“It’s a massive game for the football club, we’d like to give a good account of ourselves, The players will be up for it so hope we do well.”
On the financial worries and suspension of the National League North…
“There is such uncertainty at the moment and it’s not good for any club.”
On hopes for the night…
“I’ll enjoy it, particularly if we win!”
History to repeat itself?
Chorley certainly hope so. Back in 1986 the north-west side, then in the Northern Premier League, faced Wolves in the first round (Wolves had fallen on hard time in the mid 80s and were in the fourth tier), and won 3-0 in a second replay…
“Watching the humiliation from the stands that evening were (Wolves boss Graham) Turner”s two new signings: Steve Bull and Andy Thompson. At the final whistle, Bull turned to his colleague and said: “What the hell have we done, Tommo?” Indeed for many a veteran Wolves fan, Chorley is a name etched into infamy, a marker of the very lowest point to which their club sank.”
I present to you the Chorley XI
Here are the men bidding to upset their more-heralded opponents…
Spot the difference
Chorley are the last non-league side left in the Cup and , as you’d expect, there is a noticeable difference between the two sides.
Ahead of tonight’s clash Jamie Vermiglio, the Chorley boss, sat down to do some homework.
“I was looking at my notebook and I opened it on the notes I’d done on Farsley Celtic [Chorley’s last opponents in the National League North], I’d written about their left centre-back. Tom Allen: tall lad, not too mobile, put a bit of pressure on him and we could cause problems. I turned the page to my Wolves notes. Fabio Silva: bought for £35 million. I started giggling to myself. It just highlights the gulf. We’re playing a team that collectively cost over £400 million. Look at ours, we’d be lucky to get a bag of crisps for them.”
Chorley out for more glory for more than the obvious reasons
I could start this blog with the usual (and expected?) potential giant-killing lines, about how the Chorley side is made up of butchers, bakers and candlestick makers, and that only the ‘magic of the Cup’ can pit a team in the sixth tier of English football against one from the top, one in the self-styled ‘GREATEST LEAGUE IN THE WORLD, EVER’.
Such a narrative is fairly seductive and who doesn’t get mildly excited by the possibility, albeit slim, of an upset? Wolves are 110 places higher than Chorley in the football pyramid but after the National League North side’s memorable victory over Derby in the third round no one would rule out some sort of excitement this evening, even if the upset doesn’t materialise.
But today fixtures in the National League North and South were postponed for two weeks and there is genuine worry that the season may ultimately be declared null and void. Not only would that leave yet another blank in the record books, but also fire another financial hit at Chorley and clubs like it across the country.
Tonight, Chorley will want to win for more reasons than simply creating yet more headlines and tasting FA Cup glory. Should they lose it could feasibly be their last game of the season. Victory means more football and, more importantly, more money during a period when clubs like Chorley are worried about their future existence.
So what are the chances of the underdog winning tonight? Wolves have lost six of their last nine Premier League matches and Nuno Espirito Santo has warned his squad they cannot afford to take the game lightly.
Chorley knocked out an inexperienced Derby team in the previous round and have history with Wolves in this competition after recording a famous 3-0 upset in 1986 (more on that later).
“We approach it exactly the same, with the attention and detail, and the difference in divisions doesn’t matter,” he said.
“History tells you that in this competition things can happen and we have to be aware.
“The goal is to play the strongest squad we can. I’ve been in football long enough to be on both sides of this so I know what it means to Chorley and what it means to us.”