Exeter came from two goals down to edge a seven-goal thriller at 10-man Cheltenham and move top of Sky Bet League Two.
The home side made a blistering start, with Kevin Dawson scoring twice inside 12 minutes on his full debut.
The summer signing from Yeovil tapped in Carl Winchester's cross from the right in the eighth minute to open the scoring and it was two when Mo Eisa fed Winchester on the right and another fine delivery was touched in by Dawson.
Exeter regained their composure and pulled one back in the 38th minute through Jordan Moore-Taylor's fine free-kick from the edge of the box after Kyle Storer brought down Lloyd James.
And Reuben Reid made it 2-2 in first-half stoppage-time, tapping in after Liam McAlinden challenged for a Lee Holmes cross and the ball fell kindly for the striker.
Reid volleyed just wide in the 64th minute before Danny Wright fired into the side-netting for Cheltenham.
Exeter took the lead from the penalty spot in the 77th minute after Jamie Grimes brought down Jake Taylor, with the defender shown a straight red card.
Taylor added the fourth a minute later but substitute Dan Holman made it 4-3 in time added on.