Fleetwood’s draw with Southend means the Iron cannot be overtaken in the race for a top-three place in the final round of fixtures, while the victory for the Grecians ensures their safety in League Two for at least another season.
Exeter were the better team in the first half and had numerous chances before they struck in first-half stoppage time. Liam Sercombe, Eliot Richards and Matt Oakley all went close, but when the opening goal came, it came from an unlikely source.
Richards won a free-kick 25 yards out and it was laid square to defender Craig Woodman, who lashed a stunning first-time shot that swerved into the top corner.
Scunthorpe had offered very little in the first half and they fell 2-0 behind in the 49th minute when Jimmy Keohane tried his luck from distance and the ball squirmed under the body of goalkeeper Sam Slocombe and over the line.
Scunthorpe did have the ball in the net three minutes from time, but it was disallowed for offside.