Tranmere scored their first away goal of the season but it wasn't enough for any points as Exeter claimed a 2-1 win at St James' Park.
Rovers went behind against the run of play midway through the first half and were 2-0 down ten minutes into the second. Michael Ricketts' header put Tranmere back in the match and they put pressure on the home side but couldn't find the equaliser.
There were four changes to the side that started the previous game against Walsall. Goalkeeper Luke Daniels' knee injury forced him out of the match which meant a full debut for first year professional Joe Collister, while youth team keeper Andy Coughlin was named on the bench for the first time. Shaleum Logan came back into the side after completing his one match suspension and the loanee lined up on the right wing in place of Chris Shuker, while Alan Mahon was replaced on the left wing by new signing Seb Carole. In attack Ian Thomas-Moore returned from injury to take the place of Craig Curran. Kithson Bain was again named among the substitutes.
Rovers started well, with Logan linking up with Michael Ricketts before sending a shot goalwards which was saved by Oscar Jansson.
At the other end Collister showed no sign of nerves as he dealt well with an Exeter cross before coping with an underhit back pass.
Thomas-Moore forced another save out of Jansson on six minutes following a quickly taken free kick from Paul McLaren, and Marlon Broomes cleared two crosses from Craig Noone as Exeter attacked.
Logan's cross was inches away from being turned in by Thomas-Moore on 13 minutes while a Cresswell cross went straight through the area seven minutes later.
On 25 minutes the home side took the lead. The cross came in from the left from Noone and the ball fell beyond Collister to Adam Stansfield who turned in from close range against the run of play.
A header from Ricketts brought a save out of Jansson a minute later as Rovers looked for a quick response, while Stansfield chipped over the bar for Exeter on 29 minutes.
Daniel Seaborne was shown a yellow card for a foul on Logan after the Manchester City loanee raced towards goal, with Aaron Cresswell firing at the goalkeeper from the resulting free kick - the last chance of the half for either side.
Exeter doubled their lead on 55 minutes when Noone broke quickly through the Tranmere half, his one on one shot with Collister hit the keeper's body and Stansfield followed up for his second of the afternoon.
The goal brought a double change for Rovers, with Shuker and Mahon replacing Edds and Carole.
Soon after, the deficit was reduced as a long throw from Logan was flicked on by Ian Goodison and Ricketts followed up with the header for his first goal for the Club.
Stansfield was inches away from his hat-trick on 71 minutes when he turned wide after beating Broomes to a through ball, while Logan cleared Ryan Harley's shot off the line three minutes later.
At the other end Rovers threw several crosses into the Exeter area but they were unable to turn them into shots, while Bain replaced Ricketts in the final substitution.
Ian Goodison began to take up an attacking position and he was the target of a number of high passes but the home defence coped well and dealt with the danger.
Logan worked hard to win a corner in the final minute of injury time but McLaren's header could only hit the side netting.
Exeter: Jansson, Duffy, Archibald-Henville, Taylor, Seaborne, Harley, Stewart, Noone (Edwards 79), Stansfield (Cozic 87), Fleetwood (Corr 68). Substitutes not used: Tully, Logan, Marriott, Sercombe.
Tranmere: Collister, Edds (Shuker 56), Goodison, Broomes, Cresswell, Logan, Welsh, McLaren, Carole (Mahon 56), Thomas-Moore, Ricketts (Bain 81). Substitutes not used: Coughlin, Taylor, Barnett, Curran.
Referee: David Phillips
Yellow cards: Seaborne (38), Ricketts (57), Broomes (88)