Micky Adams’ 100th game in charge of Vale ended in defeat as Swindon coasted to a 2-0 victory.
A largely disjointed first-half Vale performance was chiefly memorable for some extraordinary Paolo di Canio facial expressions and an angry Adams answering back to crowd criticism from the Lorne St stand.
The visitors took the lead in the 25th minute when tricky winger Lander Gabilondo cut in from the left and fed Lukas Magera, whose 20-yard shot flew inside the right-hand post.
Vale only had a couple of shots from distance from Doug Loft and Marc Richards in a largely disappointing and disjointed first-half performance.
Vale’s back three was clearly not needed against a Swindon attack often with just one upfront and Clayton McDonald was thrown upfront for a brief spell before the half-time whistle.
At the break, Adams brought on Roberts and Kozluk for the somewhat unlucky McDonald and Rigg, but the wholesale changes appeared to contribute to Swindon’s second early in the second half.
There was confusion over who was marking who in the Vale box and although Yates’ challenge on Magera didn’t look like a penalty, the ref nevertheless awarded a spot-kick. Kerrouche gave Tomlinson no chance from the spot.
Vale huffed and puffed in the second-half and created a few more half-chances but nothing clearcut until the closing stages.
By then, the hardworking Pope had been replaced by Dodds and it was the sub who looked most likely to create an opening during a lively 29 minute substitute appearance.
However, in the end, Swindon were good value for their win and Vale fans will no doubt be disappointed by another lacklustre home performance.
Vale: Tomlinson, Yates, Owen, Chilvers, McDonald (Kozluk), Taylor, Griffith, Loft, Rigg (Roberts), Pope (Dodds), Richards
Subs: Martin, McCombe