Exeter manager Paul Tisdale hailed the performances of young defenders Luke Croll, Pierce Sweeney and Jack Stacey following their victory at Stevenage.
City registered their third win of the season, despite being down to 10 men for 66 minutes after Jordan Moore-Taylor was sent off.
The trio have just 33 league appearances between them, with Croll and Stacey joining on loan this month.
"Those young players at the back created the foundation," Tisdale said.
"Stacey, Sweeney and Croll, they did their bit. I'm asking a lot of them, they've only played a handful of games.
"They'll get so much from it, so what a deserved three points and I'm absolutely chuffed."
City have been ravaged by injuries since the start of the season, with Troy Archibald-Henville, Troy Brown and Jordan Tillson all out and Moore-Taylor now facing a one-match ban.
Exeter have a home game against Notts County on Tuesday, and Tisdale added: "Those boys will have to do it again and that will be the making of them."