AFC Fylde face Chorley at Mill Farm on Saturday, just a week after their 3-1 defeat at Victory Park on Boxing Day.
Two second-half headers sealed all three points for The Magpies on that bitter afternoon; a result that Fylde will be looking to bounce back from to keep in amongst the chaos of the top six.
Chorley have seen an upturn in form in recent weeks, resulting in a surge up the National League North table and into ninth position. Before Jamie Vermiglio and his side arrive at Mill Farm tomorrow, they sit just two points adrift of The Coasters, having played a game more.
So, who are we facing? and who are the players to look out for? …
Chorley Football Club was formed in 1883, switching from rugby to football. The club does date back to 1875, as Major John Lawrence, a Wigan player, had conceived the idea a year earlier. Chorley joined the Lancashire Junior League in 1889, and then joined the Lancashire Alliance the following year. During the First World War, Chorley joined the Northern Division but struggled to fill a team, but formed a side in August 1918 for friendlies. Chorley’s early success came in the 1920’s in the Lancashire Combinations as the club achieved several honours for ten consecutive seasons. Chorley spent the first decade of the 21st century in the Northern Premier League Division One. They achieved promotion to the Northern Premier League Premier Division at the end of the 2010/11 season. The Magpies won promotion to the Conference North in 2013/14 as league champions, and came close to back-to-back promotions in 2014/15. Jamie Vermiglio led Chorley to a play-off final win against Spennymoor Town on penalties, achieving promotion to the National League in 2018/19, but the Magpies were then relegated in 2019/20.
THE GAFFER: Jamie Vermiglio
Jamie Vermiglio has been the manager at Chorley since being appointed in June 2018 but his links to Chorley F.C. go back over a decade. Vermiglio has had three spells with the Magpies as a player totalling over 200 appearances for the club. Since retiring from playing in 2014, Vermiglio had been heavily involved with Chorley as staff firstly as a team coach, before progressing into an assistant manager. Following Matt Jansen’s departure, he took over as manager. He managed to lead Chorley into National League North play-off triumph in less than a year, which marked Chorley’s first return to the top of the non-league pyramid in 29 years.
CLUB CAPTAIN: Scott Leather
Scott Leather has been a part of Chorley’s squad since joining the club in 2016 from Altrincham. The 28-year-old defender started his career at Crewe Alexandra before moving to Preston North End to complete his football education. Leather made appearances for the first team, making his debut against Ipswich Town in a 2-1 defeat in April 2011. Leather was then released from Preston, moving on to Altrincham between the years of 2012 and 2016 where he made over 150 appearances. He finally moved on to Chorley prior to the 2016/17 season, and he’s been an important part of the Magpies ever since joining. Leather is a composed defender, and he is an important presence for Vermiglio’s side. He led the Magpies in their 2019 play-off final win against Spennymoor Town.
ONES TO WATCH:
The dominant left-footed central defender joined Chorley from Fleetwood Town permanently prior to the 2019/20 season. Baines is a tall, strong defender with a great ability to play out from the back and be a calm and composed option for the Magpies. He started his career at Fleetwood Town, signing as a professional in the summer of 2017. He then matured through loan experiences in non-league, succeeding at Bamber Bridge, Ashton United, once at Chorley and Stockport County before the highly-rated defender joined Chorley permanently becoming a key presence for the Magpies in defence.
Newby is an important player for Chorley, as the midfielder possesses strong technical ability making him an unpredictable player when running at the defence. He’s played a key role in Chorley’s giant killings this season in the FA Cup scoring a goal against Wigan Athletic in Chorley’s 3-2 First Round win. Newby’s corner also contributed for a goal in Chorley’s 2-1 win against Peterborough United. Newby started his career at Bolton Wanderers before moving to non-league into his local club Barrow. Whilst with Barrow, Newby experienced loan moves to Burscough and Altrincham before joining Telford United, and finally Chorley.
The young forward has been a regular in Chorley’s squad this season as his prolific nature has been an important asset to the Magpies this season. Since joining on loan from Woking, Hall has scored 4 goals in 9 league fixtures as well as an important extra-time winning goal against Wigan Athletic. Hall started his youth career at Binfield, Eldon Celtic, Ascot United and Sheffield United as a scholar. He spent time on loan with Sheffield, Mickleover Sports and Woking before joining Bolton permanently. As a Bolton player he experienced several loans again to Accrington Stanley and Chorley before joining Woking prior to 2020/21, but he immediately returned to Chorley on loan. Hall scored the opening goal in The Coasters’ Boxing Day defeat and proved to be a menace all afternoon.
Harry Cardwell hasn’t been in his usual goal-scoring nature this season having only scored once in the league for the Magpies. However, his playing style makes him a threat as he is a powerful forward combining strength with a quick turn of pace making him a dominant player in leading the Chorley line. Cardwell started his career with Hull City and Reading, before moving on loan to Woking, Braintree Town and Brighton & Hove Albion. He then joined Grimsby Town and went on loan to Chorley before joining permanently.