KAYODE Odejayi fired home from close range on the stroke of half-time to give Stanley a massive three points.
The striker pounced on a loose ball after Lee Molyneux's corner was dropped by Exeter keeper Artur Krysiak to celebrate his sixth goal of the season.
The win moved Stanley to within 10 points of the play-offs and nine points off the bottom two.
Both Stanley and Exeter tested each other out in the early stages with neither side able to create much.
Exeter's Eliot Richards had a strike blocked by Tom Aldred early on while Will Hatfield fired over from the edge of the box.
Grecians keeper Artur Krysiak was almost caught out after failing to catch a ball into the box but Danny Butterfield cleared before Stanley could capitalise.
At the other end, Exeter captain Danny Coles headed straight into the arms of Marcus Bettinelli as neither side could make an early impact.
Clear cut chances were limited although Lee Molyneux's long range effort wasn't far off the opening goal on the half hour.
Molyneux had another chance eight minutes before the break when he got on the end of Hatfield's cross but the ball was nicked off his toe before he could shoot.
However, on the stroke of half-time came the crucial goal. A Molyneux corner was dropped by Krysiak, the loose ball bounced around the box and Odejayi pounced.
Stanley almost had a second just after the restart when a backheader by Exeter's Jordan Moore-Taylor had Krysiak back-pedalling and the goalie had to one-handedly stop it crossing the line.
The home side did then up the pressure and changed their two frontmen with 20 minutes to go as they looked for the equaliser.
However, they couldn't find a way past a solid Stanley defence as James Beattie's men celebrated three points.
STANLEY: Bettinelli, Hunt, Aldred, Winnard, Buxton (Liddle 45), Hatfield (Mingoia 54), Murphy, Joyce, Molyneux, Odejayi (Windass 87), Gray
Subs: Webber, Naismith, Atkinson, Bowerman