Manager Micky Adams praised the contribution of top scorer Tom Pope as his brace helped Port Vale to an impressive 2-0 win at Exeter.
Pope went head-to-head with League Two's other nine-goal top scorer Jamie Cureton, but it was the towering targetman who came out on top with two expertly taken headers at St James' Park to take his tally to 11.
"It was billed as the battle of the two strikers," Adams said.
"We knew the threat Cureton possessed and we knew we had to keep him quiet, but Tom is in a great run of form and the key for us was to get the ball in the box with a bit of quality. Twice we have done that and he has got on the end of them.
"I picked a side to come here and win a game of football and I would have been disappointed if we had come away with nothing. We needed to up our game at times and we did that and defended well at times. To keep an Exeter side as quiet as we did speaks volumes for us.
"Our wingers have got pace and defenders are always on their toes against them so, if we get enough balls in the box Tom Pope is in a rich vein of form now and should finish them."
Exeter manager Paul Tisdale was left frustrated by another disappointing home result.
The defeat was City's third in six home league games, a stark contrast to their away form where they have won four out of five.
"I'm disappointed," Tisdale said.
"Port Vale are a good side and they are the most effective team we have played so far this season and we are just short at the moment. I am not going to get too downhearted, it is a quarter of the season gone now and a good time to assess our performance and we have not been effective enough at home."