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The magic of the FA Cup shown by a fielder sleeping on the pitch to save the Derby draw


Sixth-place Chorley could thank their scorers Connor Hall and Mike Calveley for bringing them into the FA Cup fourth round at the expense of an exhausted Derby County side, but another unlikely hero has emerged who saved the game the night before kick off. .

According to Jamie Vermiglio, manager of Chorley, day manager, gardener Ben Kay slept, yes slept on the pitch the day before to make sure the match goes smoothly.

The game went as planned as Chorley emerged as the 2-0 winner, which led Vermiglio to reveal (via The Sun): “Last night I was on my laptop watching the Under 23s from Derby and I get a message saying it’s in doubt. .

“I called gardener Ben Kay, who told me it was 50-50. I faced him at 2 a.m. knowing he was staying at the stadium and was not positive.

“One of the heaters had blown and he was worried we wouldn’t put on the tie.

With little time and fear the match would be postponed, Kay took the matter into her own hands, working tirelessly through the night.

Bad weather almost caused the game to be canceled
Bad weather almost canceled the match | James Gill – Danehouse / Getty Images

“I faced him again at 6 am and someone else answered the phone and showed him that he was sleeping soundly in the middle of the pitch.

“He had slept here to make sure we had him well – it’s really amazing.

Without Kay’s dedication to the cause, Chorley’s chances of causing the giant murder upheaval would likely have vanished.

Isaac hutchinson
Derby was forced to play a youth team | James Gill – Danehouse / Getty Images

The Derby squad put on nine senior debuts due to a Covid-19 outbreak, which means they made it to the minions without a first team or interim manager Wayne Rooney, who called Vermiglio ahead of the game .

“Thanks to Wayne, I don’t know him personally but he called before the game and apologized for not being able to be here. It was really humble and a surprise. I wondered where Coleen was because the kids were yelling in her ear!

“I wanted to compete against him – but I wouldn’t trade that now so we get to the fourth round proper.”

Chorley enters 4th round for the first time in history
Chorley enters 4th round for the first time in history | Visionhaus / Getty Images

While winning a team four levels above them in the Football League helps the Northern National League club considerably financially, Vermiglio spoke of how much better it would have been to have Victory Park with so far. to 4,300 fans.

“The only unfortunate thing is that if it was two seasons ago this pitch would have been absolutely pumping and bouncing.”

There was still a party going, the Magpie players enjoying a huge vocals from Adele’s single “Someone Like You” after the game. An unusual choice to say the least, but when you beat a Championship team while sitting at the bottom of National League North, any song means glory.

It was a very special day for first goal scorer Connor Hall who received a message from the Magpies’ best-known hero Alan Shearer congratulating him and giving his support for the next round.

A Newcastle fan, Hall must have been beaming to get a response from the Toon Army legend.

Vermiglio and his team deserve their moment, with the elementary school principal knocking down his dream tie in the fourth round.

“Now, if you can organize it, I would like Liverpool to be absent in the next round, please!” he joked.