Tom Conlon was the difference after scoring one and making one to send Port Vale to a 2-0 win over Exeter at St James Park.
Conlon broke the deadlock in the 21st minute with a stunning free-kick from just outside the penalty area and then set up Devante Rodney for a breakaway goal in the 72nd minute.
The slick away-day performance made it back-to-back wins for Vale, while Exeter still look like they are nursing a play-off final hangover.
The home side had the first chance in the 19th minute when Matt Jay clipped a cross to the back post where Jake Taylor volleyed wide.
But after Archie Collins tripped Manny Oyeleke, Conlon stepped up to plant an emphatic free-kick into the top corner.
Ryan Bowman wasted a glorious chance to equalise in the 38th minute after racing clear only to fire straight at Scott Brown.
Vale wrapped it up after Conlon sent Rodney bursting into the box and he made no mistake to beat keeper Lewis Ward.
Ben Seymour sent a free header wide in the 79th minute and the Exeter substitute could hardly believe it when his late close-range effort was somehow diverted on to the crossbar by Brown.