The cup run all began on the 3rd of October for Chorley with their first game of the season welcoming fellow National League North rivals Gateshead to Victory Park and at this point no one knew the journey that lay ahead.
Founded in 1883 Chorley are a Semi-Professional club and prior to this season have only ever made it to the Second Round of the FA Cup on two occasions, once in 1986/87 and in 1990/91.
The 1986/87 season will always stick in the minds of Wolves fans for all the wrong reasons however as on route to the second round Chorley met the then fourth division side in the first round. After drawing 1-1 in the original tie and then repeating the same score in the replay the non-league side eventually caused a massive upset by dumping Wolves out of the cup 3-0. Wolves had revenge planned this season as the clubs met once again but this time at the furthest point the Magpies have ever reached.
Rewind back to October 3rd 2020 and Chorley raced into a two goal lead against the Heed but as the visitors pulled one back at the beginning of the second half if was a tight ending in a match which could've changed the whole course of the season for the Magpies. In the end however the Lancashire outfit held on and progressed into the next round.
A home tie in the Third Qualifying round against another National North side was the reward for Chorley as they welcomed York City to Victory Park. A penalty scored by Lewis Reilly early in the game was the only goal scored and Chorley were now one win away from the First Round proper, or were they?
Prior to the season starting the footballing community were shocked to hear about Macclesfield Town folding after relegation from the Football League and as a knock on effect from this the Fourth Qualifying round was one team short meaning that whoever was the final team drawn out of the hat would get a bye straight into Round One where they would have an opportunity to come up against a Football League side. Chorley were the final team drawn out and they had secured themselves a place in the first round proper.
As the FA Cup progressed it was becoming more apparent that the fans were missing out on opportunities which don't come around often and you soon started feeling sorry for the fans that couldn't attend. As for Chorley a dream tie was missed by the fans in the First Round as the Magpies travelled to previous cup winners and local outfit Wigan Athletic.
Finding themselves 2-0 down against League One Wigan at half time most supporters would've thought that was the end of the cup run but how wrong were they? A spirited comeback in the second half was completed by Connor Hall who fired home a ninety first minute winner to the delight of the Chorley management and all the supporters watching at home.
The club must've thought they were in dreamland and a draw away at League One Peterborough United, the highest ranked team in the draw, followed in the Second Round. Could the non-league side from Lancashire pull off another fantastic shock?
Just like in the previous round the Magpies had an uphill battle from the beginning and a goal within the first two minutes through Jack Taylor put the League One outfit ahead, another comeback was needed and another comeback was completed as a Connor Hall and Mike Calveley strike within two minutes of the hour mark put Chorley in a comfortable position. Peterborough kept pushing but the Magpies defence held strong and progressed to the Third Round proper for the first time in their history.
Wayne Rooney and his Derby County side were the visitors to Victory Park and the build up to the game became a news story on its own. The Derby County side experienced an outbreak of Covid-19 meaning they would have to field a young side and this soon saw Chorley become the favourites for the match. As the snow and Ice put the game under threat the Magpies knew this was their best opportunity to progress and so worked around the clock to make the pitch playable. Club Groundsman Ben Kay slept on the pitch the night before the game and worked continuously to make sure the game was played including using a heated tent to prevent the pitch from freezing. Kay was rewarded for his hard work as not only did Chorley win 2-0 but Kay has been invited by the Wembley groundsman to help him work on the pitch for the FA Cup final.
During the cup run Chorley broke several records and became the first level six team to beat three teams from three levels or move above them in the same campaign. The club showed anything is possible and even entertained fans with a rendition of Adele's 'Someone like you' after each of the games they had won. Wolves won the fourth round match 1-0 but Chorley restricted them to just one shot on target joining Manchester City as the only team to limit them to just one shot.