Wembley heartbreak for Cambridge United

CAMBRIDGE United's hopes of returning to the Football League were dashed after a heartbreaking single-goal defeat to Exeter City at Wembley Stadium yesterday.

Mike Bacon

CAMBRIDGE United's hopes of returning to the Football League were dashed after a heartbreaking single-goal defeat to Exeter City at Wembley Stadium yesterday.

The Blue Square Premier play-off final was the opportunity Cambridge United and many East Anglian fans hoped would be the club's ticket back to the Football League after a three-year absence. But it was not to be, Rob Edwards' first-half header ensuring the Grecians gained promotion to League Two - 12 months after losing to Morecambe at the same stage at Wembley.

It will mean another year of Conference football for Cambridge United, who, despite enjoying plenty of possession yesterday, rarely threatened the Exeter goal.


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The heady days of a 2-1 victory at Portman Road, courtesy of Gary Rowett and Steve Claridge, among other fine results in the 1991/92 season had been long forgotten when, in 2005, the Ambers dropped out of the League altogether after a 35-year stay.

Cambridge had reached the play-offs in '92, after finishing fifth in Division Two, but failed in their bid to become founder members of the Premier League, Ipswich Town and Middlesbrough achieving that status.

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It was the club's highest final League placing to date and it has been a slow slip down the league pyramid since.

This season manager Jimmy Quinn guided his side to the Wembley showdown after a semi-final victory over Burton Albion.

Hopes were high for Cambridge to enjoy having a League side once more. But it will have to wait another year at least now.

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