Exeter avenged last season's play-off final heartbreak with a 1-0 victory over Cambridge at Wembley to earn promotion to the Football League following a five-year absence.
City lost 2-1 to Morecambe at the same stage last season but Rob Edwards'
first-half header ensured their second visit to England's showcase stadium was a
Despite enjoying the lions share of possession Cambridge found it difficult to
create many chances from open play with Exeter goalkeeper Paul Jones finding
himself a mere spectator for much of the match.
City's defenders coped well with the physical strength of Us striker Lee
McEvilly and always looked threatening from Dean Moxey's set-pieces.
And it was from a whipped Moxey corner from which Edwards grabbed what proved
to be the winning goal.
The Welsh defender stooped low at the far post to head home after a near post
flick to delight the travelling City fans.
Cambridge boss Jimmy Quinn made just one change to the side that overcame
Burton in the semi-finals with Lee Boylan replacing Magno Vieira in attack.
His opposite number Paul Tisdale recalled Ryan Harley at the expense of
Bertrand Cozic as the in-form Grecians looked to build on their 4-1 victory over
Torquay in the semis.
Exeter had the first chance of the match as Richard Logan found himself
unmarked at the far post following Moxey's free-kick.
But the big striker was defeated by the tight angle and put his header into
City were making most of the early furrows forward and made the breakthrough
in the 22nd minute with Edwards grabbing his second goal of the season.
Daniel Gleeson had a decent chance to draw the Us level just before the break,
but he fired over from the edge of the box with a volley.
At the other end the tireless Moxey proved to be City's main threat going
forward and his quick feet almost brought about a chance for a second on more
than one occasion.
United began the second half with real intent with Paul Carden shooting just
wide of the post from the edge of the area.
City meanwhile were causing problems on the break with Logan and Matthew Gill
going close to a second.
With time ebbing away Cambridge had two glorious chances to level, first Mark
Peters saw a shot cleared off the line before Magno Vieira shot just wide from
just inside the area.