Sam Johnson had a dream debut after he saved three penalties and scored the winner as Vale defeated local rivals Walsall in the JPT.
Micky Adams made several changes with Johnson debuting in goal, Richard Duffy moving to central defence, Adam Yates coming in at right-back, Chris Shuker returning to central midfield and Ben Williamson playing upfront.
Vale had the best of the opening exchanges with Duffy’s header cleared and shots from Pope and Williamson saved as the visitors forced a succession of corners.
Walsall’s best chance came on 20 minutes when Ashley Hemmings headed over from seven yards out.
Johnson was forced into his first serious save minutes later when Hemmings shot from distance.
And the visitors were handed a shock penalty when Duffy slipped onto the ball in the area after appearing to be pushed. Johnson was sent the wrong way as Cuvelier scored from the spot.
There were more problems for Vale when the home side doubled their lead two minutes into the second period thanks to Grigg’s close range finish.
Two goals down, things looked bleak for Vale but it took them less than twenty minutes to level things up.
Two minutes after Griggs’ goal, Ryan Burge scored his first Vale goal with a shot from outside the penalty area that beat keeper Darlow. And Tom Pope’s twelfth goal of the season secured Vale’s comeback as he scored from twelve yards out on the hour mark.
Meanwhile, Johnson was doing well on his debut as he pulled off several decent saves and looked assured in the Vale goalkeeper’s shirt.
Vale nearly found the winner with minutes remaining as Joe Davis’ shot was blocked and Louis Dodds hit the post.
But they progressed after a dramatic twenty two shot penalty shootout where Johnson became a new Vale hero.
Vale: Johnson, Yates, McCombe, Duffy (Davis), Taylor, Myrie-Williams, Burge, Shuker, Vincent (Lloyd) , Williamson (Dodds), Pope
Subs: Owen, James
Bowerman scored 1-0
Myrie-Williams scored 1-1
Paterson missed 1-1
Shuker saved 1-1
Taylor scored 2-1
Burge saved 2-1
Cuvelier saved 2-1
Pope scored 2-2
Featherstone saved 2-2
Davis missed 2-2
Taundry missed 2-2
Taylor saved 2-2
Brandy missed 2-2
Dodds saved 2-2
Butler scored 3-2
Lloyd scored 3-3
Downing scored 4-3
Yates scored 4-4
Jones scored 5-4
McCombe scored 5-5
Darlow saved 5-5
Johnson scored 6-5