Exeter moved up to sixth in League Two after producing a magnificent away performance at high-flying Port Vale.
Jamie Cureton gave the Grecians an early lead by turning in Matt Oakley's cross for his 19th goal of the season.
Darren Purse's header was hooked off the line as Vale began to pressurise, but Danny Coles bundled home Oakley's delightful free-kick to make it 2-0.
Even with a man advantage after Mark Molesley's dismissal, the closest Vale came was when Louis Dodds hit the post.
Molesley's red for an off-the-ball incident was the only negative from Exeter's 11th away win this season as they move to within four points of the automatic promotion places.
Meanwhile second-placed Vale, who looked bereft of ideas throughout the match, have now recorded back-to-back home losses, and have still not beaten Exeter at Vale Park since April 1994.
However, they will be comforted by the fact they remain two points off leaders Gillingham, who succumbed to a 1-0 loss at home to Oxford.