Marc Richards’ 15th goal of the season helped ease Port Vale’s relegation fears after a 1-0 win over Hereford Utd.
Micky Adams decided to hand teenager Joe Davis his senior debut in place of the suspended Clayton McDonald, while Adam Yates replaced the injured Rob Taylor. The ever willing Doug Loft moved over to left-back as a result.
It was a mostly dour opening 45 minutes with neither side able to put any concerted pressure on their opponents.
Vale’s best chance fell to Chris Shuker but he was unable to break the deadlock.
It was goalless at the break with Davis probably the happiest of the Vale players having helped to keep a clean sheet.
In the second-half captain Marc Richards went close early on as he rattled the woodwork from Tom Pope’s flick-on.
But at the other end, Tomlinson had to pull off a great save to prevent the visitors taking the lead. Minutes later, the visitors pressed again as Colbeck hit his shot just wide.
However, despite more Hereford pressure, Adam Yates and Tom Pope combined to set up Marc Richards for his 15th goal of the season with four minutes remaining.
Vale held on to secure all three points and Davis cemented an excellent debut with a clean sheet and a man of the match award.
Vale: Tomlinson, Yates, McCombe, Davis, Loft, Rigg (Williamson), Morsy, Marshall, Shuker, Dodds (Pope), Richards
Subs: Martin, Roe, James