Micky Adams’ side lost their first home league game of the season after they were defeated 2-0 by table-topping Gillingham in front of a near 7,000 crowd.
The Valiants lined-up unchanged for the ninth game in a row, but Gillingham made a number of changes including dropping top-scorer Danny Kedwell for loanee Robbie Findley. That was to prove to be an influential decision by Martin Allen.
The visitors had much the better of the opening exchanges and Vale could have conceded a penalty when Clayton McDonald fouled on the edge of the box.
But the visitors went into the lead when good work from the dangerous Findley set up veteran Deon Burton for the opener.
Findley was causing Vale’s defence all sorts of problems in the opening period and on 25 minutes, Whelpdale doubled their lead following more good work from the visitors.
Vale countered through Sam Morsy and the resulting corner created a chance for Clayton McDonald as the home side tried to get back into the game. And as Vale continued to press, John McCombe’s header went close. Then Myrie-Williams’ free-kick went wide just before the break.
Micky Adams brought on Ryan Burge for Chris Shuker in the second-half and went close through Vincent’s header. Then Gillingham had Stuart Nelson to thank for touching Myrie-Williams’ free-kick onto the bar and after the introduction of subs Williamson and Taylor, Vincent had another long-range effort as Vale continued to press.
Vale had put on a better second-half display but it was all to no avail as the visitors returned home to Kent with all three points and stretched their lead at the top of League Two.
Vale: Neal, Duffy, McCombe, McDonald, Loft, Myrie-Williams, Morsy (Taylor), Shuker (Burge), Vincent, Dodds (Williamson) , Pope
Subs: Johnson, Yates, Lloyd, Owen