Heaven and Adele: Chorley up for a third FA Cup upset and another singalong

Chorley goalkeeper Matt Urwin is determined to make more FA Cup memories when the Magpies take on a makeshift Derby side at Victory Park this weekend.

With the coronavirus-hit Rams needing to field a side made up of under-23 and under-18 players and no fans allowed in for the televised fixture, the match may not have the feel of a classic third-round tie but it still represents a huge opportunity for the National League North side.

Urwin already has a special bond with the competition from his time at Bradford, when he was back-up to Bantams cup goalkeeper Ben Williams during their memorable run to the quarter-finals in 2014-15.

After beating Halifax and Dartford, then needing a replay to see off Millwall in the third round, Bradford stunned Jose Mourinho’s Chelsea with a 4-2 win at Stamford Bridge before beating Sunderland 2-0 at home, eventually losing to Reading in a quarter-final replay at the Madejski Stadium.

“It’s unfortunate I didn’t get a game but I loved it,” Urwin said. “It was unbelievable.

“First and foremost the memory that sticks out in my mind is the Chelsea game. I got (goalkeeper) Thibaut Courtois’ shirt that day.

“Unfortunately it was marred a little bit by not playing, if I’d been on the pitch that would have been really, really special, but to be involved, to have my family in the crowd at Stamford Bridge and beating the Premier League champions-elect, it was really special.

“Jose Mourinho came in the dressing room at the end and said we all have big b***s so that was quite an experience, shall I say.”

Having signed for Chorley, initially on loan in 2017 then permanently in 2019, the 27-year-old is creating new memories with the Magpies – with the key difference this time that he is on the pitch playing his part.

Wins away to Wigan and Peterborough have put the Magpies into the third round of the competition for the first time in their history.

“The Peterborough game and the Wigan game, you look back on them and we’ve been the better team, we’ve deservedly won,” Urwin said.

“It’s not like we’ve been hanging on at the end. We’ve deservedly won and we find ourselves in the third round against Derby now.”

If they get the right result against the Championship club managed by Wayne Rooney, there will no doubt be another airing of Adele’s ‘Someone Like You’ in the dressing room this weekend.

No one can quite clarify when or why the unlikely anthem became part of Chorley’s celebrations, but it has marked all their major moments in recent seasons, from their promotion to the National League in 2019 to this season’s victories over the League One pair.

“I’ve absolutely no idea why, but we sang it when we got promoted, we’ve sung it when we’ve had success,” Urwin said. “It kind of gives me a bit of the chills. I love that song. I’m not afraid to admit I know every word.

“I’m going to put myself forward and say I think I’m a pretty decent singer. I’m definitely one of the better ones in the group – though I’m not sure that’s saying that much.

“The Adele song has been around longer than I’ve been at the club but I’ve got a lot of good memories of singing that song. I’m hoping we can make another one on Saturday.”