Exeter City’s glorious day the last time they visited Wembley

The promotion hopes for Exeter City all boil down to proceedings tonight as the Grecians travel to Wembley for the League Two Play-off Final.

Although fans will not be allowed into the iconic venue, the match against Northampton Town will be broadcast live on Sky Sports Main Event and Sky Sports Football from 7pm – with the kick-off at 7.30pm.

DevonLive will also be reporting from the game via a live blog, which you will be able to find here.

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It will not be the first time City have travelled to the stadium and many involved with the club – including manager Matt Taylor – will have fond memories of the team’s last visit to the venue.

On May 18, 2008, the Grecians travelled to Wembley to take on Cambridge United in the Conference Premier Play-off Final with a place back in the English Football League at stake.

Both clubs had spent a few seasons out of the EFL following City’s relegation from Division Three – what is now known as League Two – at the end of the 2002-03 campaign while United suffered the same fate two seasons later.

Exeter City's current manager Matt Taylor was in the starting line-up for the Grecians' victory in 2008
Exeter City’s current manager Matt Taylor was in the starting line-up for the Grecians’ victory in 2008

Among the players who lined up in the starting XI for City that day included current boss Taylor as part of the centre back partnership with captain Danny Seaborne.

Alongside in defence were Steve Tully and George Friend while Paul Jones was the Grecians’ goalkeeper.

Manager Paul Tisdale went for a 4-3-3 formation with Rob Edwards, Matthew Gill and Ryan Harley making up the midfield behind the strike force of Richard Logan, Adam Stansfield and Dean Moxey.

It was the second season in a row City had made it to the final at Wembley having lost 2-1 to Morecambe.

During that game, Lee Phillips gave the Grecians an early lead and 12 months later, the team stuck their noses again as Edwards fired a header past Danny Potter after a corner taken by Moxey in the 22nd minute.

GOAL CELEBRATIONS for Exeter’s Rob Edwards as he heads the ball into the net beating Cambridge Unite’s Goalkeeper Danny Potter – Photo mandatory by-line: Phil Mingo/Pinnacle – Tel: +44(0)1363 881025 – Mobile:0797 1270 681 – VAT Reg No: 768 6958 48 – 18/05/2008 – SPORT – FOOTBALL – Exeter City v Cambridge United – Blue Square Premier Play-off Final – Wembley Stadium

It was a fairly dominant first half display from City with Moxey causing the U’s several problems, but the score remained 1-0 after 45 minutes.

The second half saw United up the tempo and pile pressure on the Grecians’ with Friend – who would later play in the Premier League with Middlesbrough – having to clear a header from Lee McEvilly from under the crossbar.

Several other chances fell to Cambridge with Taylor being called into defensive action in order to clear Mark Peters’ effort off the line before Brazilian striker Magno Vieira fired wide.

However, City were able to hang on and spark jubilant scenes after Craig Pawson blew the final whistle as the club completed their return to the EFL.

Exeter City’s line-up that beat Cambridge United 1-0 on May 18, 2008: Jones, Tully, Seaborne, Matthew Taylor, Friend, Harley, Edwards, Gill, Moxey, Stansfield (Watson 84), Logan.

Unused subs: Marriott, Carlisle, Elam, Cozic.

Devon Live