Goals from home debutants Matty Kennedy and Ryan Taylor put the game beyond the visitors before half-time, before an injury time penalty from Jake Jervis put the dominant gloss on the score-line that Argyle’s display warranted.
Instead of sticking to the system that served Exeter well on their twelve-game unbeaten run going into this game, City appeared to change things up to catch the Pilgrims off-guard. Paul Tisdale’s side looked to go more direct for large periods of the game, but their diagonal balls and long passes up to the likes of Ollie Watkins and Reuben Reid bore little fruit, while Argyle’s more decisive play was too much for Exeter to handle.
“They were very direct today, Exeter,” said Derek, “but in the end we allowed them to have the ball deep and they launched it forward.
“I didn’t think that they would do that; I thought they would play a wee bit more, but that probably helped us today and we dealt with it well.
“It’s an important victory for us today, if you look at the rest of the results. Winning a Devon Derby, again, only helps the supporters going into work on Monday morning.”
Not only does the win provide bragging rights for the Green Army; paired with slip-ups from Doncaster Rovers and Carlisle United, the win gives Argyle an eleven-point cushion in the automatic promotion places and just a three-point gap to leaders Doncaster, with a game in hand.
“At this stage of the season, you’re about winning games,” said Adams. “Today was a big game for us because it was a derby match, but also with 18 games to go, it’s important you win as many as you can.
“We’re trying to win as many games as we possibly can, and see where it takes us.”