Tranmere gave their play-off hopes a huge boost as a 2-0 win put a dent in Exeter’s title bid.
Micky Mellon’s side had fallen away from the automatic promotion spots after five games without a win and just two victories in 12.
But Josh Hawkes and Elliott Nevitt got the goals as the Grecians slipped five points behind league leaders Forest Green.
Tom Davies nodded Chris Merrie’s corner over with the first chance of the afternoon.
Offrande Zanzala agonisingly rattled the crossbar in the 10th minute for the visitors.
Seconds later, Nevitt forced Cameron Dawson into a great stop as Tranmere threatened.
Dawson was at it again to keep out a Hawkes free-kick.
But the deadlock was broken as Hawkes hit his sixth goal of the season in the 39th minute.
City huffed and puffed to get back into the game but failed to find an all-important leveller.
And Nevitt put the game to bed with nine minutes to go with a downward header from Merrie’s delightful delivery.
Sam Foley should have added gloss to the scoreline but he missed at the end.