Ten-man Harrogate prevented Exeter from scoring for the first time in 15 League Two outings to hold out for a 0-0 draw.
Warren Burrell was sent off after 73 minutes for the Sulphurites but the visitors, currently enduring their worst run of the season having not won in five games in all competitions, only tested home goalkeeper James Belshaw once all evening.
Exeter had the better of the first-half opportunities with striker Ryan Bowman intercepting a poor back pass by Jake Lawlor, but prodding the ball wide after Belshaw had charged off his line.
Josh Key also failed to capitalise on sloppy Harrogate defending by Jay Williams and Connor Hall when he could only drag a chance off target from 10 yards after being presented with a free shot on goal.
After the break, the home side carried the greater attacking threat with striker Aaron Martin denied his first goal in 11 outings in all competitions when Grecians goalkeeper Jonny Maxted displayed sharp reflexes to keep out his low eight-yard drive.
That momentum was lost a little when Burrell received his second yellow card after halting Exeter substitute Jack Sparkes in his tracks twice in the space of six minutes, but Simon Weaver’s men also came under little threat at the other end.
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