Full time report: Exeter City 0 Torquay United 1
Exeter City fell to their seventh home defeat of the season as first half penalty from Torquay United's Rene Howe settled the Devon derby.
City manager Paul Tisdale brought a number of first team players back into the starting line-up for the match with Alan Gow, Jimmy Keohane and Matt Oakley all beginning the match.
However, leading scorer Jamie Cureton had to be content with a place on the bench after serving his three-match ban for a sending off against Wycombe Wanderers on New Year's Day.
It was Torquay who started the better of the two teams with Lee Mansell heading an John Oastler cross to the bottom left-hand corner of City's goal and forcing Artur Krysiak to turn the ball around the post.
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Former Torquay United player Steve Tully then upended Billy Bodin just inside the area, allowing Howe to open the scoring from the resultant penalty.
Keohane then had a couple of chances to draw City level before the break, but saw one close-range effort blocked and then fired another narrowly wide of the right-hand post.
Early in the second half and mindful that they surrendered a one-goal lead when these two sides last met, it was Torquay who pressed. Howe fired just past the post before Exeter City got back on top.
The introduction of Guillem Bauza and Cureton gave the home side renewed hope and they were almost gifted an equaliser when Ryan Jarvis sent a header arrowing towards his own net. Thankfully for Torquay though, Michael Poke scrambled across his goal to save. A succession of corners followed for City as both Danny Coles and Bauza went close. Cureton also had a couple of half chances to equalise on his 700th Football League appearance, but in the end the Gulls managed to do what they failed to do 13 days earlier and hung on to a much-needed 1-0 advantage against Exeter City.