By Hemaja Burud
Archie Collins put Exeter ahead with a close-range sidefoot,
but the advantage only lasted two minutes before Morgan Whittaker scored a brilliant equaliser.
Following some excellent work by Jay Stansfield immediately after the half, Sam Nombe restored Exeter's advantage;
however, Plymouth quickly responded through Bali Mumba's potent long-range shot.
But with 20 minutes remaining, replacement Hardie's well-taken goal gave Argyle their first lead.
Later on, the Scotsman neatly tapped in a pass from Whittaker to give the green side of Devon the victory.
With their ninth straight home victory in the league, Argyle now leads Exeter by four points at the top of the standings.
The two Devon rivals finally met after more than three years, and the rowdy atmosphere at a crowded
Home Park was created by fans from both teams. Stansfield's eight-yard attempt from distance was blocked by Dan Scarr in the fourth minute,
and Nombe's close-range header was saved by Michael Cooper shortly after.
Exeter, who started creative talisman Jevani Brown on the bench, had the better of the opening exchanges.