Crawley head coach John Yems felt that luck was turning his side’s way after they sent Exeter down to a first defeat in five games at the Broadfield Stadium.
A 62nd-minute penalty by Tom Nichols and a late goal from Ashley Nadesan gave the Reds a 2-0 win, their second victory in three Sky Bet League Two matches.
Yems’ men had hit a sticky patch since upsetting Leeds 3-0 in the FA third round, but more went their way this time as the strikers scored for the first time in a league game since December 29.
Yems said: “It was a very hard game but we deserved it in the end.
“There was a lot of fight and endeavour and it gives us something to build on again.”
Exeter had to battle for most of the second half with 10 men after Tom Parkes received a straight red card for a bad tackle on Nick Tsaroulla.
Yems added: “He was lucky he didn’t get three months let alone being sent off.
“Anyone can beat anyone in this league, one swallow doesn’t make a summer, and it’s another three points away from relegation.”
Exeter boss Matt Taylor had no complaints about the sending off but felt the penalty decision was a poor one.
Jake Caprice was adjudged to have pulled down Tsaroulla, but Taylor said: “It wasn’t a penalty – the players said it was a dive.
“This was a shame, we might not have won the game but could have got a point out of it.
“As far as the red card, it didn’t look a great tackle.
“It was a poor, bitty game for large parts with little quality. The teams matched each other for 60 minutes.”
Exeter had only lost one of their previous five away games and Taylor feels that the busy schedule and tiredness is playing a part at this stage of the season.
He added: “We are a bit light – somehow the group need to find energy – but at least we have less travel now with two home games coming up.”