A hat-trick from Fulham loanee Marcello Trotta helped bottom club Wycombe to victory over the Grecians who missed a second half penalty.
The home side took the lead after just 30 seconds when Trotta fired home but Paul Tisdale's men responded with their best spell of the match and drew level when Danny Coles rose to head home Chris Hackett's inch-perfect corner.
Despite City having plenty of pressure and chances Trotta arrowed a shot past Artur Krysiak on 40 minutes to give Gary Waddock's men the lead once more.
Just minutes into the second half the Grecians had a great chance to equalizer when Jake Taylor was hauled down by Nikki Bull but Guillem Bauza, arguably one of City's best performers in the first half, couldn't get any power behind his spot-kick.
Despite changes in personnel City couldn't create any real openings and the home side wrapped up the three points when Trotta danced past Coles and his low shot caught out Krysiak at his near post.
With a fully fit squad to chose from Tisdale had plenty of selection choices but he opted to make just one alteration to the XI that drew 0-0 with Scunthorpe with Bauza replacing Elliott Frear.
Wycombe's pre-match talk centred around the extension of Trotta's loan deal from Craven Cottage and the youngster wasted no time in showing just why they were so keen to keep him.
With just 30 seconds gone Anthony McNamee knocked the ball down the left-hand touchline and after beating three Grecians to the ball he whipped a ball into the box which was fired home first time by the Italian.
Exeter didn't let the early set-back get to them and went on to create plenty of chances. The first pair came when Troy was inches away from a teasing Hackett corner at the back post while Taylor was hacked out after dancing past his marker.
At the other end Marvin McCoy wriggled his way down City's left hand flank and managed to get a right footed shot away that flew across Krysiak's goal and out of play. And Krysiak had to be alert on 16 minutes when a great reverse ball put Stuart Lewis through on goal but City's pole pulled off a fine stop with his feet.
Midfield duo Liam Sercombe and James Dunne both tried their luck from long range while Hackett's dangerous corners were causing chaos in the box and the second in quick succession resulted in City's equalizer, their 200th goal under Paul Tisdale. Coles rose to thump Hackett's delivery past Bull and the centre-back celebrated infront of the travelling faithful.
The game was flying from end to end and a City counter on 27 minutes involving Tully and Hackett created an opening for Noble but his left-footed curler couldn't test the former Aldershot keeper.
Bauza had a fine first half and showed some fantastic touches to bring others into play. He also came very close to a goal on his return to the starting line-up after injury on the half hour after a lovely mazy run resulted in a fine effort that Bull tipped over the crossbar. From the resulting corner Troy knocked the ball down to the Spaniard but he fired into the away end.
Four minutes later Bauza showed great feet before teeing up Sercombe who drilled a thumping effort wide.
City's failure to make the chances count would cost them when rock bottom Wycombe regained their lead on 40 minutes, Trotta found a way past Troy on the left-hand side of the box before rocketing a low drive past Krysiak.
The final chance of a frantic half saw Hackett try his luck from the right hand side of goal but he couldn't test the keeper.
Just three minutes into the second half this match took another twist when Bauza sent Jake Taylor one on one with Bull and after rounding the keeper the Reading loanee was fouled and the referee pointed to the spot.
But Bauza's weakly hit spot-kick was straight down the middle and Bull kept it out. And when the ball rebounded the keeper flew off his line to dive at the feet of the Spanish forward, and got injured in the process.
City continued to look bright with Troy nodding over and Bauza heading wide when unmarked at the back post.
Tisdale reshuffled shortly after with Dan Nardiello being introduced for Hackett and Richard Duffy coming on for Tully but the chances dried up for the Grecians despite having more of the ball than the home side.
You sensed that a repeat of the 2-2 draw we saw here in the 2009/10 season wasn't out of the question. But those thoughts were extinguished on 88 minutes when Trotta was allowed time to run at the City defence down the left-hand side and he made the Grecians pay for backing off with a low shot that flew past Krysiak at his near post.
A 3-1 defeat was probably a little harsh on the Grecians who looked much more dangerous going forward than they had against Scunthorpe. The fact that Bauza got through 90 minutes, the performance of the midfield in particular and Hackett's superb set-pieces will have pleased Tisdale and his team as they prepare for the long trip to Colchester on New Year's Eve.