Tranmere failed to end November on a high note as Exeter scored three unanswered goals to claim all three points at St James' Park.
Rovers conceded late in the first half and never really recovered, with the home side adding a second midway through the second half and a third soon after.
The result saw Les Parry's team drop to 12th in League 1.
There were three changes to the side that started against Sheffield Wednesday with Paul Rachubka making his Rovers debut in goal in place of the injured Owain Fon Williams and Joss Labadie replacing the suspended Robbie Weir, while Adam McGurk came into the side for Mustafa Tiryaki, a move that saw Lucas Akins take up the central striker's role.
Jose Baxter forced a decent save out of Artur Krysiak on three minutes with a low shot from the edge of the area after good build up play from John Welsh and Akins and the Exeter keeper had to parry a cross away from his goal soon after.
Ian Goodison cleared after Rachubka spilled a cross from Elliott Frear on 11 minutes as the home side began to press forward and it needed well timed headers from David Buchanan and Dave Raven to divert two more crosses out of the Rovers area.
Krysiak claimed a Robinson cross under pressure from Akins on 20 minutes and six minutes later Ash Taylor failed to connect properly with a cross from Labadie and the keeper was able to comfortably gather his volley.
On 32 minutes Rovers went closest to opening the scoring, with Baxter powering a header against the cross bar from Raven's cross before Akins sent the rebound straight at Krysiak.
At the other end Welsh did well to clear a Chris Hackett cross as the Grecians broke on the counter attack and on 41 minutes the home side took the lead. Goodison blocked two Steve Tully crosses but the ball fell straight to Scot Bennett who drilled his shot straight past Rachubka in the Rovers goal.
Richard Logan almost doubled Exeter's lead three minutes into the second half but his shot hit the top of the Tranmere cross bar and bounced behind for a goal kick.
Rovers' first attack of the half saw John Welsh's shot blocked by a defender and soon after Akins fired straight at Krysiak from a Goodison pass.
McGurk headed wide of the target from a Robinson cross just past the hour mark and it was the former Aston Villa trainee's last involvement as he was replaced by Tiryaki, with Akins moving to the right wing.
Rachubka did well to keep out Hackett's curling effort on 64 minutes but from the corner that followed Danny Coles rose highest to head home the Grecians' second of the afternoon.
Baxter's attempt to bring Rovers back into the game deflected behind for a corner on 68 minutes and Goodison's header was saved soon after.
Rachubka comfortably saved Jake Taylor's shot at his near post on 69 minutes, while Martin Devaney replaced Akins soon after.
However, moments after the substitution was made Rovers found themselves three goals down, with Richard Logan taking advantage of a long ball forward to finish when one on one with Rachubka.
Joss Labadie sent a long range effort wide of goal with nine minutes remaining and the midfielder fired over soon after as Tranmere's frustrating afternoon continued.
Rachubka saved from Elliott Frear after Welsh had been caught in possession inside his own half, while Welsh saw a fine first time effort saved by Krysiak on 89 minutes.
Logan headed over for the hosts as the game went into injury time, the last chance of the game for either side.
Exeter: Krysiak, Tully, Bennett, Coles, Archibald-Henville, Golbourne, Duffy, Frear, Hackett (McNish 83), Taylor, Logan. Unused substitutes: Pidgeley, Shephard, O'Flynn, Keohane.
Tranmere: Rachubka, Raven, Taylor, Goodison, Buchanan, McGurk (Tiryaki 63), Labadie, Welsh, Robinson, Baxter, Akins (Devaney 75). Unused substitutes: Coughlin, McChrystal, Power.
Referee: Simon Hooper
Away attendance: 166
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