Exeter manager Paul Tisdale was pleased with the result but not his side's second-half performance after the 3-2 win over Bury.
The Grecians eased into a 2-0 lead inside nine minutes of Saturday's League One clash at St James Park through Troy Archibald-Henville and a Daniel Nardiello penalty after Efe Sodje's foul on Jake Taylor.
After David Amoo pulled a goal back, Richard Logan restored Exeter's two-goal advantage before Ashley Eastham netted an injury-time consolation for Bury.
"I was delighted with the way the team started. You saw in the first half a team playing with purpose and when you do that, you give yourself every chance," Tisdale said.
"I was delighted. Goals come off the back of application and doing the right things. I can't affect the decisions they make on the pitch, a player must be able to make his own decisions. What I can affect is the application and the direction and the direction was good.
"The second half showed where we are perhaps lacking a bit of freedom and confidence but we haven't earned that. You aren't just given that confidence. We are very competitive and solid at home and that gives us something to build on. At the moment, I am directing them towards a simplicity and they played with a simplicity and eagerness which got us a result.
"They looked a bit anxious in the second half and maybe didn't play as many good passes as they should have done but the win was so important to us and you could see what it meant to the players."