Soccer

Chorley undone by Vitinha screamer as non-league outfit push Wolves close

It took a moment of brilliance from Vitinha to avoid Wolves having an unwanted place in FA Cup history.

While Vitinha may have scored a stunner fit for the highlight reels, this was a night that will live longer in the memories of non-League side Chorley.

Maybe some lingering thoughts of 'What if?' too for them.

The National League North side had some chances to cause a mighty Cup shock.

It wouldn't have been a smash and grab job either. They were competitive against the Premier League big boys.

It was certainly a night to be proud of even if their run in the grand old competition was halted at the fourth-round stage.

Wolves arrived at Victory Park with almost £200m worth of talent at their disposal.

But barring Vitinha's stunning opener it wasn't a performance which matched the wealth of talent.

Elliot Newby was presented with a glorious chance to give the underdogs side a dream start.

But his strike wasn't good enough to beat experienced Wolves stand-in stopper John Ruddy. What a moment that would have been.

It put down a marker at least that they weren't going to roll over.

Chorley manager Jamie Vermiglio and his side were hoping to repeat a Cup win against Wolves back in 1986. But their chances took a blow in the 12th minute.

Vitinha – a season-long loan signing from Porto – looked like he was taking his time to find the right pass 35 yards out from goal but instead he let a shot fly and Chorley keeper Matt Urwin couldn't keep it out.

It was the Portuguese midfielder's first goal for the club. He might not score a better one than that.

On another night that stunner might have opened the floodgates but Chorley didn't chuck it in.

They had already knocked out Wigan, Peterborough and Derby but really wanted a Premier League scalp to add even more magic to a run that will inject some much-needed revenue into the club.

It was Chorley midfielder Willem Tomlinson who fired not far wide in the 17th minute.

Vermiglio was imploring his side on and reminding them to focus as the half wore on.

Patrick Cutrone tried to match Vitinha's effort with a spectacular one of his own but his shot was off target as Wolves tried to find a second.

Just like Chorley started the first half with a great chance, they did the same in the second. Ollie Shenton put in a fine cross but Connor Hall's header was straight at Ruddy.

If fans were allowed in, this fantastic old ground would have been really rocking now.

Chorley had celebrated their previous wins with a rendition of Adele's Someone Like You in the dressing room.

They even had a cardboard cutout of the musician in the stand and it was the hosts who were on song here.

Chorley were getting success from crosses and again Hall had a chance but this time it was a much more difficult one and his volley went well over.

Then Andy Halls forced Ruddy into a fine save from a corner as yet again the non-League minnows threatened as belief started to grow.

But, despite Wolves having their backs to the walls at times in the second half, the hosts couldn't find an equaliser and it was the end of their remarkable run.

Wolves will now face Arsenal or Southampton knowing they got lucky to avoid being remembered in Cup folklore for the wrong reasons.

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