After a goalless first half, Arron Davies put the Grecians in front with a thumping shot that gave Luke McCormick in the Argyle goal no chance. But Argyle levelled when substitute Luke Young curled home a brilliant free-kick from 25 yards.
Alan Gow put Exeter back in front seven minutes from time with a delightful chip from the corner of the penalty box before Scot Bennett wrapped up the win with a tidy finish in stoppage time.
"I am very proud of the players and it was a really good win for us. It sounds really obvious when you win, but I thought it was a really good game and I am very pleased," Tisdale said.
"They came into it with the equalising goal and had the momentum. But the subtle change of Jimmy Keohane replacing Tommy Doherty worked for us.
"It would have been very easy to hold on at that point, but we made an offensive change and it just gave us a chance again. It could have gone either way, but you have to believe that if you are positive more than you are negative, you will get what you deserve.
"It's nice to win a derby because we haven't won one for a while - we didn't have a good record in derby games last season - and it was nice to win it with three fabulous goals.
"It is very hard to single anyone out because the whole team did well. The day has gone very well and everyone in Exeter is a winner today."
- Sports & Recreation
- Arron Davies
- Luke McCormick