Chorley boss Jamie Vermiglio felt his part-time side could have beaten Wolves after their fairytale FA Cup run was ended by the Premier League side.
A stunning first-half goal from 20-year-old Vitinha proved the only difference as the National League North side were edged out 1-0 by their top-flight visitors in a hard-fought fourth-round tie at Victory Park.
Chorley, who beat a coronavirus-depleted Derby in the third round, produced a rousing second-half display and both Connor Hall and Andy Halls forced saves from John Ruddy but Wolves held on.
— Chorley FC (@chorleyfc) January 22, 2021
Vermiglio said: “Ultimately I’m disappointed because I think we could have won. If one of those headers had gone in, who knows?
“We were fantastic. I feel really proud, of course I do, but I feel disappointed as well. I never thought I’d feel like that.
“It’s a strange emotion because we have just taken a Premier League team all the way. They knew they were in a game until the last minute and I’m very proud.”
Chorley also knocked out Wigan and Peterborough earlier in the competition and the financial rewards the club have received will sustain them in the current uncertain time and beyond.
The club now do not know when their next fixture will be after their league was suspended for at least a fortnight due to the Covid-19 pandemic.
“It is so frustrating and quite upsetting, we’ve worked so hard,” said Vermiglio, a primary school head teacher.
“We’re fortunate we’ve had the cup run so we’ve got a little bit of finances and are ready to go, but I understand some clubs have not got that reassurance and are in a bit of limbo.
“I don’t know the figures but it’s probably £400,000 at least, if not approaching £500,000, that we’ve made.
“But it’s not just about that. Up and down the country people are struggling and it’s no different in Chorley. Those players in there have given them something to look forward to and that makes me immensely proud.”
Wolves manager Nuno Espirito Santo was frustrated his side did not win more convincingly but paid tribute to Chorley.
He said: “It was a beautiful goal by Vitinha but in the end we should do better.
“The FA Cup means a lot for us. We wanted to proceed and we achieved it but the team needs to work and perform better. A lot of aspects of our game need improvement.
Best of luck for the rest of the season. pic.twitter.com/vW8gohMTbu
— Wolves (@Wolves) January 22, 2021
“Credit to Chorley. They are in the lower divisions but they were organised and had a good striker that fights and was strong in the duels and created problems.
“I felt the scenario was created for a surprise to happen. We spoke about that but the boys were professional and achieved what we wanted.
“I have been on the other side and played in the lower divisions against big teams, so I know what it meant for Chorley. I honestly think we should do better but not in terms of our attitude.”