The Crawley manager was happy as the Reds thoroughly deserved their victory.
"We worked hard. It's good to see us back to where we should be," stated Yems. "We showed a lot of fight and a lot of endeavor and [the result is] something to build on."
There was no question that the Reds were the superior side throughout, but it was all Crawley after Exeter City's Tom Parkes received a straight red card for a poor challenge on Nick Tsaroulla.
"It's lucky he didn't get three months. Let alone sent off," Yems explained. "I can't keep on about officials, but for both sides there were some strange things."
Crawley eventually opened the scoring through a Tom Nichols penalty, before Ashley Nadesan secured victory after finishing off a wonderful Crawley move late on.
"It's nice to get that feeling, especially against your old club and a side that's flying," said Yems. "It just goes to show that in this league there's no easy games and anyone can beat anyone on their day.
"It's very difficult when you have injuries, and people leaving the club...because we haven't had time on the training pitch. On the back of that you rely on the lads to show the endeavor that they did today."
After a midweek defeat to Grimsby Town, Crawley will be happy to be back to winning ways. Two wins in their last three sees Crawley move to just five points below the play-off places before a tough week that sees the Reds travel to Morecambe and Tranmere Rovers.
"We have got good players here. We're looking at the league..and it's another three points closer to safety.
"If you start looking at the tables you put yourself under pressure. We want to get as high as we can..but it's another three points away from relegation as far as I'm concerned.
"Let's enjoy tonight, we will worry about next week when it comes."