Football often does not give you the reward your performance deserves, and this was one such case, as the young Pilgrims threw everything at their Devon rivals in the second half, only to concede a last-minute winner.
The game began with a solemn moment prior to kick-off, when both teams and sets of supporters observed a minute’s applause for former Argyle head of youth development Gordon Bennett, who sadly died last week.
City began the game at a gallop and a good save from Tyler Coombes kept out a fierce drive from Alex Moyles, but Argyle began to wrestle control back as the half wore on.
Rhys Shirley, Finley Craske and Angel Wariuh all went close before Shirley's cheeky back-heel forced Harry Lee to produce a fine reaction save.
It was against the run-of-play that City took a 41st minute lead as Oscar Rutherford's rash challenge on Nelson Iseguan allowed skipper Jack Veale to convert from the penalty spot.
The second-half saw a procession of chances for Argyle, with Medine firing wide before substitute Oscar Massey's silky skills set up Shirley to fire a first time effort over the bar from 12 yards.
Then, Waruih and Scott Crocker both had chances before Massey finally beat Lee, only to see his shot cleared off the line.
Justice appeared to be done in the third minute of stoppage time when Medine's pin-point cross found Crocker to head home, but, with Argyle still celebrating their equaliser, an error at the back allowed Veale to fire home City's winner.
The team’s lead coach, Darren Way, felt that there were plenty of positives to take from the game. He said: "We were punished for two individual mistakes at the back.
"The players gave absolutely everything from start to finish and they played the 'Argyle way'. As a spectator it must have been a fantastic game to watch, but I know how much that result will hurt them as it was Exeter."
Plymouth Argyle: Tyler Coombes, Oscar Halls, Ethan Mitchell, Finley Craske, Oscar Rutherford, Will Jenkins-Davies, Charlie Miller, Jeremiah Medine, Angel Waruih (Carlo Garside 80), Jamal Salawu (Oscar Massey 55), Rhys Shirley (Scott Crocker 70). Substitutes not used: Lewis Moyle, Ali Mansaray.