Exeter's promotion bid suffered a setback as they lost to Rochdale.
Veteran Grecians striker Jamie Cureton opened the scoring on the stroke of half-time when he controlled a Jake Gosling cross and fired home.
Dale dominated after the break and equalised three minutes from time when Ian Henderson's shot was deflected past back-pedalling keeper Artur Krysiak.
The visitors then took all three points in stoppage-time when Bobby Grant finished off a quick break in style.
Exeter are five points behind third-placed Northampton and three above Fleetwood, who sit one place behind them in eighth.
VIEW FROM THE DRESSING ROOM
Exeter City manager Paul Tisdale told BBC Radio Devon:
"Considering how poor we were today we just hoped we could hang on, so to be at that point and lose a goal and then an injury time winner is very disappointing.
"I've not seen one of my teams play so poorly for a long, long time. We struggled to put the passes together and play any meaningful forward play at all.
"We're in a good position, it's about the next game and it's about what's possible, so we have to back each other.
"We're a very average League Two club that is in a very very good position. The heart of the team, all the talent, has been ripped out the middle of it because of injury."