Chorley 0-1 Wolverhampton Wanderers: Vitinha’s superb goal sees Wolves past non-league opponents

Non-league Chorley were unable to emulate the heroes from 1986 by causing an FA Cup sensation against Wolves – but the National League North side came away with all the credit from their fourth-round tie at Victory Park.

Vitinha’s superb 30-yard shot after 12 minutes proved enough to secure an all-Premier League tie against Arsenal or Southampton at Molineux in the fifth round.

But Nuno Espirito Santo’s side were less than impressive against their part-time opponents.

Chorley had the first shot of the match through Elliot Newby, and after Vitinha had struck his first Wolves goal with the visitors’ only shot on target, it was the hosts who had the best chances.

Crucially, they also pocketed around £120,000 in prize money, plus TV fees, to sustain them through what could be a difficult period after their league was suspended for two weeks amid funding concerns earlier in the day.

“If you are going to lose, I would prefer to lose to a goal like that than a scruffy goal,” said Chorley boss Jamie Vermiglio.

“I am proud of what we have done for our community, my kids at school will remember that their head teacher got this far in the FA Cup. Hopefully it can inspire some of them.

“We are approaching up to half a million [in earnings from the cup run], we have people who are isolating, and those players have given them a little bit of happiness.

“If it is 2-0 or 3-0 at half-time the game is done and people are turning their TVs off. That did not happen. I felt we were in the game. Every player was outstanding.”

Night to remember for Chorley

If this does end up being Chorley’s last game of the season, it is one they will remember for some time, not only for the action on the pitch but also for the huge volley of fireworks that went off behind the main stand minutes into the contest.

For visiting Wolves, it was a step into the unknown. Their starting line-up got changed in the away dressing room, while their substitutes – European Championship winner Rui Patricio and Spain international Adama Traore among them – readied themselves in a sponsors’ lounge.

Seemingly those starting the game on the bench got the better deal.

Wolves boss Nuno paid Chorley the compliment of picking a strong starting line-up, including £35.6m record signing Fabio Silva and England international Conor Coady.

And had this match been played in more imposing surroundings, it could have been mistaken for one of those Premier League games where one side sits back, challenges the opposition to break them down and then hits them on the counter.

Wolves’ return of 76% possession and one shot on target, set against Chorley’s five shots on target, suggests home manager Vermiglio got his tactics spot on.

Indeed, had Andy Halls, a personal trainer by day, not had his goal-bound header tipped over by John Ruddy after an hour, Chorley might have forced a different outcome.

“The scene was set for us to lose this game,” said Nuno. “John Ruddy did his job, everybody knows his quality. He helped us to win the game.”

It was nevertheless a typically English FA Cup tie, enlivened by Vermiglio yelling “nothing wrong with that” when two Wolves players went down under agricultural challenges, and then laughing in Traore’s face amid a brief skirmish.

It was fantastic knockabout stuff. Sadly, the enduring disappointment was that other than staff, media and stewards, no-one was there in person to witness it.

Portuguese prowess – the stats

  • Wolves have reached the FA Cup fifth round in three of the last five seasons, as many as in the 21 seasons prior to this.
  • Premier League teams have progressed from 45 of their 47 FA Cup ties against non-league teams (96%), with only Norwich vs Luton in 2013 and Burnley vs Lincoln in 2017 failing to progress.
  • Separated by 120 years and 362 days, Chorley have lost both of their FA Cup games against top-flight opponents, losing against Notts County in January 1900 and Wolves.
  • Vitinha became the 32nd different Wolves player to score a goal for Nuno Espirito Santo in all competitions and the 11th different Portuguese player to do so, with what was his third shot in his 12th appearance.
  • Since the start of 2017-18, Wolves have had 11 different Portuguese scorers – more than twice as many as any other English league team in that time (Nottingham Forest, five).

What’s next?

Wolves are next in action against Chelsea in the Premier League at Stamford Bridge on Wednesday, 27 January (18:00 GMT).



Formation 5-3-2

  • 1Urwin
  • 2BirchBooked at 86mins
  • 4Halls
  • 5Leather
  • 6BainesSubstituted forMillerat 84′minutes
  • 13ShentonSubstituted forHenleyat 84′minutes
  • 8Calveley
  • 12TomlinsonBooked at 36mins
  • 11Newby
  • 27HallSubstituted forSmithat 87′minutes
  • 9CardwellBooked at 89mins


  • 3Smith
  • 7Miller
  • 14Henley
  • 15Putnam
  • 16Garratt
  • 17Malakai
  • 19Roberts
  • 21Dutton
  • 25Birchall


Formation 3-4-1-2

  • 21Ruddy
  • 15Boly
  • 16CoadyBooked at 63mins
  • 49Kilman
  • 2Hoever
  • 32Dendoncker
  • 28João MoutinhoSubstituted forNevesat 68′minutes
  • 3Aït-Nouri
  • 20VitinhaSubstituted forTraoréat 69′minutes
  • 17Fábio Silva
  • 23CutroneSubstituted forNetoat 68′minutes


  • 7Neto
  • 8Neves
  • 11Rui Patrício
  • 22Nélson Semedo
  • 37Traoré
  • 42Richards
  • 54Otasowie
  • 57Lonwijk
  • 60Corbeanu

Live Text

  • You can stream five fourth-round games live on the BBC this weekend, including Liverpool’s trip to Manchester United. Find out more here.

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FA Cup to see Tottenham’s Gareth Bale and José Mourinho visit non-league Marine FC in ‘biggest mismatch in history’

A bar transformed into a makeshift changing room.

One tiny stand with fewer than 400 seats.

And just a brick wall separating the gardens of overlooking houses from the dugouts on the narrow touchline.

The home of Marine’s team of part-timers in the eighth division of English football will be a world away from the luxuries Tottenham’s millionaire players and manager José Mourinho are used to when they show up on Merseyside on Sunday (local time) for an FA Cup match.

“When I saw the draw come out,” Marine defender Josh Solomon-Davies said, “I did scream to myself.”

The north-west coastal town of Crosby will provide very humble surroundings for the biggest mismatch in the history of the FA Cup.

With 161 spots separating Tottenham from Marine in the English football pyramid, never before has the gulf been so great between teams paired in the 150 years of world football’s oldest cup competition.

Tottenham’s star forward Gareth Bale has requested to play in the FA Cup match against Marine.(Reuters: Molly Darlington)

While Tottenham is fourth in the Premier League and in the Champions League places, Marine is sixth in the Northern Premier League Division One North West.

“We are an eighth-tier team playing against World Cup winners (Hugo Lloris) and Golden Boot winners (Harry Kane),” Marine striker Niall Cummins said.

“You don’t get that anywhere else.”

While Tottenham’s players can earn hundreds of thousands of pounds a week, there is a maximum weekly pay of 300 pounds (about $520) for Marine’s squad which featuring semi-professionals who work by day in healthcare, garbage collection, car factories, and schools, like Cummins.

“Every kid has given me some stick,” the secondary school teacher said.

“‘Are you going to do this to this player, are you going to score, whose shirt are you going to ask for?’

“Then you’re thinking if you do something bad then you are going to be a GIF by the end of the week.”

The match will be broadcast live in Britain on the BBC’s main channel and in 40 territories worldwide.


But with the latest pandemic lockdown preventing fans attending any sport in England, the Marine Travel Arena will be limited to only directors from both clubs and the media, alongside those playing, coaching and officiating.

The closest any fan can get to watching the game in person are any living in a house overlooking the pitch. And coronavirus restrictions prevent them letting in anyone from outside the household bubble for a peek.

“It’s three-sided, a very tight ground, houses on two sides, big stand behind one of the goals — it’s a proper non-league ground,” Marine manager Neil Young said.

“Tottenham won’t be getting changed in the dressing room, they’ll be getting changed in the bar area.”

While Premier League clubs enter only at this third-round stage, Marine began its cup run in the preliminary round in September and has already banked 120,541 pounds in prize money and broadcast fees.

That is a significant windfall for a team that has funding for only 16 players, with another three going unpaid.

The sale of virtual tickets for the match has raised more than 11,000 pounds for Marine.

Tottenham to pay respect by beating Marine

Dan Cairney has been to every game this season but will have to settle for joining the millions watching on television.

“As long as [the score is] less than double figures we will probably be happy with that,” Cairney said while wandering outside the stadium this week.

Due to a tightening of coronavirus restrictions halting its league, Marine has not played in two weeks.

Solomon-Davies has spent the time preparing for potentially defending against Harry Kane, Son Heung-min and Gareth Bale by watching clips on YouTube.

Jose Mourinho looks on with his hands in his pockets as Ole Gunnar Solskjaer points in the foreground
Spurs manager José Mourinho says he will be taking a strong team to show respect to Marine FC.(Pool via AP: Carl Recine)

With experience playing for Saint Lucia’s national team and Tranmere, the 21-year-old Solomon-Davies regards this game as more than a novelty moment. It could be the platform for a transfer up the league pyramid.

“It’s a chance for me to see how I compare to those players and if I can compete with them,” he said.

“It’ll be a good test. It’s a big chance for us to showcase our abilities.”

Marine has been receiving assistance from more illustrious teams about 20 minutes away on Merseyside, with Everton and Liverpool allowing them to use their training grounds.

Liverpool, the reigning Premier League champion and current leader managed by Jurgen Klopp, has even helped out with tactical preparation by sending recordings for match analysis.

“We haven’t got the scouting networks or the software to go back and look at games,” manager Young said.

Despite a congested fixture schedule and far more demanding opposition coming up, Tottenham will be showing Marine respect by fielding a strong side.


Bale even requested to travel as he tries to regain match fitness after an injury halfway through his loan spell from Real Madrid.

So Tottenham, which reached the League Cup final earlier this week, has not been talking up victory in the biggest match in Marine’s 126-year history.

“To show respect to them is to play with a good team, with a team with responsibility, with a team with motivation and to beat them,” Mourinho said.

“If we go there and we lose, of course, it would be massive for them, but it would be because of a lack of respect from us to them.”

While Marine’s manager also works for a train company, Mourinho has been working around Europe and winning trophies with Chelsea, Real Madrid, Inter Milan, Manchester United, and Porto.

“I clearly understand the dream,” Mourinho said.

“Nobody puts a foot on the football pitch knowing or feeling that we are going to lose, so I believe that in this moment, they feel like they are going to win and it’s up to us to bring them back to reality.”


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Chorley 2-0 Derby: Non-league side beat makeshift Rams in FA Cup

Non-league Chorley beat a decimated Derby County to reach the FA Cup fourth round for the first time.

A Covid-19 outbreak meant the Championship club were without their entire first team squad, boss Wayne Rooney and most of their Under-23 side.

Nine of their starting 11 were making senior debuts and they fell behind when Connor Hall headed in from close range.

Chorley wrapped up victory six minutes from time when Mike Calveley stretched to divert Elliot Newby’s cross home.

More to follow.



Formation 4-1-3-2

  • 1Urwin
  • 2Birch
  • 5Leather
  • 4HallsSubstituted forHenleyat 71′minutes
  • 6Baines
  • 12Tomlinson
  • 11Newby
  • 8Calveley
  • 13ShentonSubstituted forSmithat 78′minutes
  • 27HallSubstituted forReillyat 80′minutes
  • 9Cardwell


  • 3Smith
  • 7Miller
  • 10Reilly
  • 14Henley
  • 15Putnam
  • 17Malakai
  • 19Roberts
  • 20Marah


Formation 3-5-2

  • 1Yates
  • 5Jinkinson
  • 6Bateman
  • 4Solomon
  • 2BardellSubstituted forCybulskiat 73′minutes
  • 10Hutchinson
  • 8ThompsonSubstituted forIbrahimat 84′minutes
  • 7AghatiseSubstituted forEboseleat 64′minutes
  • 3Williams
  • 11CresswellBooked at 10mins
  • 9Duncan


  • 12Ebosele
  • 13Sykes-Kenworthy
  • 14Ibrahim
  • 15Cybulski
  • 16Thompson
  • 17Rogers
  • 18Rutt
  • 19Christie

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