Exeter missed the chance to be crowned League Two champions as Port Vale secured a 1-0 win at St James Park to seal their place in the play-offs.
James Wilson scored the only goal of a game lacking in quality but Exeter will be left wondering what could have been as they turned in one of their worst performances of the season when a point would have seen them pip Forest Green to the title.
Exeter had the first chance with Matt Jay dragging a shot wide from 20 yards before the striker was denied what looked a certain goal when his flicked header was unbelievably saved by Aidan Stone diving to his left.
Jake Caprice’s cross almost caught out Stone, who tipped the ball behind for a corner.
But against the run of play – and with their first chance – Vale went in front on after 36 minutes.
Connor Hall delivered a fine cross which was nodded down by Jamie Proctor and Wilson lashed it in from 15 yards.
Offrande Zanzala saw a shot blocked shortly past the hour mark for the hosts, while Wilson fired straight at Cameron Dawson in the Exeter goal.
Caprice fired over and then straight at Stone from distance, but an off-form Exeter could not find the goal they needed to be crowned champions.
Enjoy the convenience of having The Sunday Post delivered as a digital ePaper straight to your smartphone, tablet or computer.
Subscribe for only £5.49 a month and enjoy all the benefits of the printed paper as a digital replica.Subscribe