Jamie Proctor's header was enough for Preston to beat 10-man Exeter.
Steve Tully saw red after just 23 minutes when he brought down Neil Mellor inside the box.
Graham Alexander failed to give North End the lead from the penalty spot though, firing his kick straight at Artur Krysiak.
Proctor secured victory for Phil Brown's men, heading home Paul Parry's free-kick to extend Preston's unbeaten run to four games.
VIEWS FROM THE DRESSING ROOM
Exeter manager Paul Tisdale told BBC Radio Devon:
"Disappointing result but a wonderful performance.
"We weren't dealt the finest of hands I don't think, playing for over an hour with 10 men.
"That would rank alongside one of the best away performances I think we've constructed."