Chris Hargreaves and Tim Sills scored the goals which took Torquay back into the Football League as they beat 10-man 2-0 Cambridge at Wembley.
Captain Hargreaves fired in a fine shot from the edge of the box to open the scoring and before Cambridge had Phil Bolland sent off.
Sills then headed home to bring league football back to Plainmoor after a two-year absence.
Cambridge were forced to hand a debut to Adam Bartlett in goal - an emergency loan signing from Kidderminster after losing regular stopper Danny Potter to injury.
The first half was an open affair, but clear-cut chances were at a premium, although Gulls defender Chris Robertson did rifle a shot just wide from the edge of the D in he 28th minute.
Robbie Wilmott broke into the box at the other end and his shot from a tight angle forced Michael Poke into a decent save.
But the deadlock was broken when a long ball was flicked on to Elliot Benyon and he laid the ball to Hargreaves, who fired in from the edge of the area.
Kevin Nicholson came close to doubling the lead when a free-kick was laid into his path, but Paul Carden's deflection took it just wide.
Scott Rendell was almost in at the other end but Poke came out to deny him, before Bolland was shown a second yellow card for a foul on Benyon.
And the afternoon almost got worse for Cambridge straight away with Sills hitting the post, but 16 minutes from time he made no mistake with a thumping header from Wayne Carlisle's cross.
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