East Devon Grecians go wild at Wembley
Exeter City claimed back their rightful place in the Football League after five years of Conference football, and Sunday, May 18, 2008, will go down in Grecian history as one of their most important dates for significant happenings.
Exeter City claimed back their rightful place in the Football League after five years of Conference football, and Sunday, May 18, 2008, will go down in Grecian history as one of their most important dates for significant happenings. Witnessing this momentous occasion were over 20,000 City supporters from all around Devon, including a sizable number from Sidmouth. As fans left the town last Sunday, whether it be by coach or car, they will have been thinking back to almost exactly 12 months ago when City faced Morecambe, in the same play-off final, but came away empty handed after losing 2-1. There was no prize then, and the club and supporters were left facing the reality that they would be playing another year in the Blue Square Premier.Local supporter Barry Morton, who travelled with the East Devon Grecians with his dad and daughter Kath, enthused: "This time it was different. We were a stronger team, we were the team in form, and the players and manager seemed more focussed on the result rather than all the glamour and razzmatazz of being at Wembley. There were no matching team suits which seem to be a must for sides at Wembley. Last year the party started when we first knew we were going to the new Wembley, and this year it started when the final whistle was blown on Sunday evening. This was an Exeter team who played their hearts out, and gave a bit more too, for the win. They got what they deserved. The fans were fantastic and, just as the team played Cambridge out of the game, we, the fans, sang the Cambridge supporters out of the stadium. It was absolutely brilliant!"The winning goal, on 22 minutes was scored by fans' favourite Rob Edwards, who has remarkably played in every game this season. A corner taken by Dean Moxey was missed by those around him and he cleverly headed in at the far post. The attendance was 42,511 and, from the start, City were confidently playing the passing game that has become their hallmark. The celebrations at Wembley after the game continued long after the distraught Cambridge fans had left the stadium and, for those who were there, and those watching on TV, these must have been the sweetest Exeter City moments in living memory. They will help to banish some of the not so good times of the last decade in particular. Without doubt this was probably one of the most important wins in the club's 104-year history. This was only the fourth occasion in their entire history they have won promotion. From those dark days of the last five years, a decent and honest club run by people who care and who have integrity, has emerged. City have surely found a manager in Paul Tisdale who has not only built on the work done by those preceding him, but also a one who will eventually move on to bigger clubs. The hope for City fans is that he will continue the great work on the foundations he has set in place.It's into League Two we go but, for now though, it's time to give football a well deserved rest, wait for news of fresh signings, and look forward to seeing the fixture list with different opponents coming to St James Park. The friendly pre-season fixture list is already out, and we have those memories to sustain us over the break. Here's to a great summer, and to an even better red and white Grecian future. I can't wait, can you?