Jamie Cureton went from zero to hero in the space of two minutes to hand Exeter a dramatic 3-2 victory over table-toppers Gillingham at Priestfield.
Just after seeing his penalty saved with the scores poised at 2-2, Cureton nodded home the 87th winner after Danny Jackman's 30-yarder looked to have sealed a point for the hosts.
Chris Whelpdale had put the Gills ahead after just four minutes, latching onto Lewis Montrose's through ball but while Exeter's Liam Sercombe scuffed a great chance to level, Alan Gow made no mistake with a fine free-kick on 27 minutes.
Nine minutes after the break 37-year-old Cureton poked home his 14th of the season to hand the Grecians the lead but after Gills substitute Myles Weston curled just wide, Jackman lashed home on 78 minutes to make it 2-2.
Cureton then struck his spot-kick straight at Gills stopper Stuart Nelson after Jimmy Keohane was hauled down in the box but he made up for it by heading his fifth goal in four games almost immediately.