Exeter manager Paul Tisdale knows his side are staring relegation in the face after collecting just two points from the last 27.
They desperately needed a win at in-form Scunthorpe and might have got one if striker Lauri Dalla Valle had done better with an early close-range header.
But a mistake by goalkeeper Artur Krysiak 14 minutes from time enabled substitute Jon Parkin to squeeze a left-foot shot under his body to earn the home side a 1-0 victory.
It leaves Exeter eight points adrift of safety, with games rapidly running out.
"We've just got to keep going and try to win the next game," he insisted. "We know the position we are in, but it's not over until it's over."