The magnificent Tom Pope scored his 31st goal of the season and his fourth of a prolific Easter period as he rescued a point for the Valiants at Chesterfield.
Darren Purse had given the Vale the lead only for two goals from former skipper Marc Richards to put the home side into the lead. But a late strike from Pope was enough to earn Vale a potentially vital point.
Micky Adams made three changes with Darren Purse replacing John McCombe, Doug Loft in for the injured Louis Dodds and somewhat surprisingly Calvin Andrew, rather than Ben Williamson, was chosen in place of Lee Hughes.
It was one of the returning players who gave Vale the lead just five minutes into the game. Darren Purse scored his second goal for the club from a corner from Jennison Myrie-Williams.
But the home side countered with two goals from the former Vale captain Marc Richards. The first was a deflected free-kick on fourteen minutes and the second was a good finish from a narrow angle just five minutes later.
Vale responded by bringing on Chris Birchall in place of Rob Taylor and in a lively first-half both sides had chances to add to their scores.
The second-half started in similar entertaining style with Vale having a strong penalty appeal turned down.
Both sides had further chances to increase the scoring but there were just five minutes left when, that man, Pope scored to make it level.
That goal spurred Vale on as Ben Williamson and Doug Loft both went close to netting in the dying moments. Nevertheless, Vale fans were ecstatic with a potentially priceless point as the familiar refrain of “Feed the Pope” rang around the B2Net stadium.
Vale: Neal, Yates, Purse, Chilvers, Jones, Myrie-Williams, Loft, Griffith (Williamson), Taylor (Birchall), Andrew (Shuker), Pope
Subs: Johnson, McCombe, Duffy, Morsy