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Page last updated at 16:57 GMT, Sunday, 18 May 2008 17:57 UK

Exeter 1-0 Cambridge Utd

By Chris Whyatt

Rob Edwards scored the only goal for Exeter
One goal from Edwards saw Exeter return to the Football League

Exeter City returned to the Football League after a five-year absence with a narrow play-off final win over Cambridge United at Wembley.

The Devon club dominated the first half and took a deserved lead when Rob Edwards nodded home Dean Moxey's inswinging corner on 21 minutes.

But Cambridge exerted intense pressure after the break as manager Jimmy Quinn went for broke with three changes.

Substitute Magno Viera went closest with a snap-shot just past the post.

Exeter, 83 years a Football League team and looking for only the fourth promotion in their history, made the brighter start.

The impressive Moxey sent out a message of intent by whipping over a dangerous cross which Richard Logan stretched to nod inches past the left upright.

Logan caused trouble in the box which led to a penalty appeal after Mark Albrighton appeared to handle but referee Craig Pawson waved play on and Edwards hooked a rising snap-shot just wide from 14 yards.

Winger Lee McEvilly did make some inroads down the right for Cambridge but his enticing cross was athletically cleared by Steve Tully for a corner which came to nothing.


With Exeter bossing possession, they took a deserved lead on 21 minutes thanks to Moxey's wicked inswinging corner which the onrushing Rob Edwards headed on the bounce to force home.

Dan Gleeson did smash a shot over the bar for Cambridge on 37 minutes but their half was largely frustrating, despite Friend looping a header onto the bar after clever feet from Courtney Pitt.

But United came out positive after the break to create numerous chances.

A McEvilly header had to be cleared from underneath the bar by George Friend before Paul Carden shot just wide from distance after which Lee Boylan went close.

After Richard Logan sent a vicious volley wide from Ryan Harley's intelligent cross the game became increasingly open and scrappy.

Cambridge boss Quinn made three attack-minded substitutions which nearly bore dividends, with Brazilian striker Viera influential.

Matthew Taylor had to lump the ball clear off the line after Mark Peters prodded in a shot after a goalmouth scramble and Exeter's goal was starting to live a charmed life.

Substitute Viera flashed a powerful shot just wide with ten minutes remaining.

Cambridge pressure intensified but manager Paul Tisdale's side hung on desperately to wipe out the memories of last year's play-off final disappointment at the hands of Morecombe. League Two beckons.

Exeter: Jones, Tully, Seaborne, Matthew Taylor, Friend, Harley, Edwards, Gill, Moxey, Stansfield (Watson 84), Logan.
Subs Not Used: Marriott, Carlisle, Elam, Cozic.

Goals: Edwards 22.

Cambridge Utd: Potter, Peters, Albrighton, Hatswell, Gleeson (Fortune-West 75), Wolleaston, Carden, Brown (Reed 67), Pitt, Boylan (Vieira 70), McEvilly.
Subs Not Used: Morrison, Beesley.

Booked: Gleeson.

Att: 42,511

Ref: C Pawson (Sheffield).

see also
Exeter 'suited to Wembley pitch'
16 May 08 |  Exeter City
Fit-again Boylan eyeing Wembley
15 May 08 |  Cambridge Utd
Cambridge close to final sell-out
13 May 08 |  Cambridge Utd

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