York boss Nigel Worthington was disappointed not to have taken anything from the game following their 2-1 defeat at Exeter.
Former Rangers striker Alan Gow scored within 20 seconds of coming on as a substitute against the Minstermen.
The Grecians were trailing to Ryan Jarvis' 17th-minute tap-in when Gow broke the offside trap and flicked the ball past the advancing Michael Ingham to draw Exeter level. And the 30-year-old sealed the win with a fantastic low strike from 20 yards to make it three wins from three home games for Paul Tisdale's team.
Worthington said: "I was delighted with the performance - there was energy, commitment and a lot of good quality stuff in there, so form that point of view it was excellent.
"The two goals are where the mistakes have been made. We have not stayed with the runner for the first one and the second one we have not come out to close down the ball quick enough, which entices the lad to shoot and the pace of the ball beats Michael in goal.
"But we got balls in the box and it is a case of keep doing what we are doing. We need to cut out the goals against and get a few more in the other net.
"A draw would have been a fair result. But if you concede two and score one then you lose the game. I thought it was a good game of football, very competitive and it was end to end.
"Towards the end of the game when we were searching for a goal we left ourselves a bit exposed at the back. But other than that I was very pleased."