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City try out 12 on A-League pitch

AAP logoAAP 10/11/2016 Ben McKay

John van 't Schip is known as a highly evolved A-League tactician but even by the Melbourne City coach's standards, one formation briefly employed on Thursday night was a step too far.

For around one second-half minute against Newcastle Jets, City fielded 12 players after a touchline bungle between substitutes and the fourth official.

On went Nick Fitzgerald and Paulo Retre, and off came Fernando Brandan.

And no one else.

The game was restarted by referee Adam Fielding as City players looked confused as to their positions.

Van 't Schip said his bench worked out the mistake before any of the officials and told them so.

"We actually had to warn the fourth official that we had 12," he said.

"They didn't put the number up to take someone off ... we had to warn them to say 'hey hey, you have to stop the game, we still have a player to come off'.

"In the end it worked out well, we didn't score," he joked.

The mishap was the result of a miscommunication between the City bench and fourth official.

City - nursing a lead late in the game - originally asked to make their two substitutions separately but then changed their mind and asked for a double switch.

The fourth official missed the latter instruction and on went Retre, believing he was good to go.

So City played with 12 momentarily - and making matters worse, the Jets were down to 10 men after Nigel Boogaard limped off with an ankle injury.

It became apparent that Socceroo Tim Cahill was the odd man out, having not been shown his number, and playing on before word got through.

Cahill and Fielding shared a joke as he jogged to take his place on the bench.

What might have been dealt with harshly in other codes went unpunished on the night.

If Jets coach Mark Jones has anything to do with it, that's how it will stay.

"I'd like to say 'yeah it changes the course of the game' but obviously it didn't," he said.

"I've never seen it happen to be honest, I don't know what the rules are ... it's highly unusual.

City went on to win the game 2-1 thanks for Bruno Fornaroli's double.

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