Exeter City’s 3-0 FA Cup win over Bradford City is now void due to an error with substitutions. During the game, the Grecians inadvertently used six substitutions, one over the maximum of five. Due to this error by Exeter City, an FA investigation has decided that the clubs will now replay the replay.
Exeter City and Bradford City Will Meet for the Third Time Due to Error
Match Went Into Extra Time in Which Exeter City Made Crucial Mistake
With the score tied and the inevitable extra time looming, both teams made use of the extra substitutions. Exeter won the game 3-0 with extra-time goals from Matt Jay (two) and Nigel Atangana. However, while the competition rules allow for up to five substitutes, Exeter manager Matt Taylor made a sixth replacing Sam Nombe for Josh Key at the start of extra time.
As reported by the BBC, an FA spokesperson said: “The PGB deemed that the most appropriate action would be for the match to be replayed in its entirety and has ordered for this to take place at Exeter City’s St James Park on Tuesday, November 30, at 19:45.”
Exeter City Boss Matt Taylor Admits an Honest Mistake
Matt Taylor was under the impression that the sixth sub was legitimate, however, the ruling proves otherwise. In response to the investigation, Taylor said: “In the meetings with the officials before the game and during the game the information that was relayed to us was wrong, hence why I think we’re still in the competition because we’ve not tried to cheat the system.”
Bradford City’s manager Derek Adams did not speak out publicly regarding the decision.
Both clubs will now suffer from fixture congestion. For Bradford City, the replay means a 600-mile round-trip awaits. And the replay means Exeter City will now play twice a week for the next four weeks. As the December schedule is already busy, an extra game is a punishment for both clubs.
Taylor Feels Worse Off
Although Taylor made the sixth sub, he believes that it is an unfair punishment.
According to Taylor, Bradford City also tried to use a sixth sub: “Bradford tried to make a sixth substitution and that was turned down, so a strange chain of events occurred, and nobody knew what had happened until well after the game when it became apparent on the referee’s team sheet.”
Regardless, the teams will face off once again to determine who goes through to the next round. The winners will travel to Cambridge United in the second round on Saturday, 4 December.