Loanee Jack Grimmer’s first Vale goal earnt Micky Adams’ side a win over Oldham but the match was overshadowed by an injury to debutant Florent Cuvelier.
Manager Micky Adams made four changes with Grimmer, Davis, Cuvelier and Williamson coming in for Yates, Dodds, Lines and Hugill.
It was a quiet opening thirty minutes with both sides having half chances. Tom Pope went closest for Vale while Oldham’s Dayton had a one-on-one chance but Neal pulled off a good save.
However, Vale were rocked on the half-hour mark when loan signing Florent Cuvelier was stretchered off and he looked to be in some pain.
Oldham could have taken the lead just before the break when McDonald tried to scramble the ball home but to no avail.
But things sparked into life on 50 minutes when Jack Grimmer headed in Chris Shuker’s corner for his first goal in Vale colours.
On 65 minutes, good work from Myrie-Williams and Dickinson set up Tom Pope who was brought down for a penalty. Jennison Myrie-Williams took the spot-kick but a good save from Oxley kept the score at 1-0.
Vale felt they had claims for a second penalty ten minutes later when Oxley took out Hugil but the referee was unmoved. Then Neal made a sharp save to keep Vale’s lead intact.
That was the last real chance of a mostly patchy game but one which Vale will be both pleased and disappointed about. They will be saddened by Cuvelier’s injury and a booking to Dickinson which will mean a suspension – but they will be pleased to keep a clean sheet and another three points in their chase for a play-off place.
Vale: Neal, Grimmer, Davis, Robertson, Dickinson, Cuvelier (Shuker), Griffith, Loft, Myrie-Williams, Pope (Hugill), Williamson
Subs: Johnson, Lloyd, Yates, Dodds
Attendance: 6,002 (594 away)