Exeter boss Paul Tisdale had no complaints after his side's 3-1 defeat to League Two high-flyers Rochdale at Spotland.
Michael Rose fired the home side ahead late in the first half only for the Grecians to level seconds into the second period through Alan Gow.
But Dale stepped up a gear to clinch the three points with goals from Graham Cummins and Andrew Tutte.
Tisdale said: "We started the game quite well but they eventually got a hold on the match, as they are entitled to - they are a good side at home.
"It's always a basic change to make, matching the home side man for man, and we did that with the same 4-3-3 formation. Having done that, we had a very good first 15 minutes of the second half, got the goal and at that point I felt it was 50/50.
"But then we didn't get tight enough at a throw-in and Rochdale scored from that.
"I'm disappointed for everyone that we've suffered another defeat and it seems we're having a rotten run of results and we're just going to have to get out of it."
The breakthrough came in the 39th minute as Scott Hogan's weaving run towards the Grecians' penalty area was ended by Pat Baldwin, who brought the Rochdale frontman crashing to the ground just outside the penalty area.
Rose curled the free-kick round the Exeter wall and into the top left-hand corner of Artur Krysiak's net.
Exeter were level within seconds of the re-start when a shot from Arron Davies was deflected into the path of John O'Flynn. His square pass was not controlled by Sam Parkin but collected by Gow, who forced the ball past Josh Lillis from eight yards.
The home side rallied and deservedly regained the lead on 65 minutes when Cummins met Matt Lund's inswinging cross with a glancing header into the bottom corner of Krysiak's net.
Tutte wrapped up the result in the 87th minute with an exquisite finish from the edge of the area, collecting Cummins' pass and curling a shot wide of Krysiak.