Substitute Steve Flack scored the winner 13 minutes from time as Exeter kept alive their play-off hopes with a 2-1 home win over relegation candidates Farnborough.
The visitors took a surprise lead in the 11th minute when Jay Smith crossed from the right and Carl Gibbs, on loan from non-League Walton & Hersham, smashed home his first Conference goal.
But nine minutes later Exeter were level. Gareth Sheldon played the ball in to Sean Devine, who fired home right-footed for his 11th goal of the season.
It was all Exeter from then on but they could not get their noses in front until Sheldon again proved the architect as veteran striker Flack headed home his free-kick to sustain hopes of a return to the Football League.