Vale’s winless run was stretched to four games after a comprehensive defeat to promotion favourites Wolverhampton Wanderers.
Micky Adams rang the changes after the Crewe defeat – out went Davis, Yates, Griffith and Hugill and in came Robertson, Dodds, Knott and Duffy. The formation meant a 4-4-1-1 line-up with Chris Lines tucking in behind lone striker Tom Pope. Vale also lined-up in their blue third-kit for the first time this season.
As might be expected, Wolves had much the better of a goalless first-half with a penalty appeal turned down, Duffy clearing a Henry shot off the line and Ricketts hitting the underside of the crossbar.
But despite that pressure, ironically it was the Valiants who wasted the best chance of the half. Knott took advantage of a Wolves’ mistake and set-up Pope but the striker missed the target with only the keeper to beat.
However, it only took the home side six minutes of the second-half to take the lead as Sako’s deflected shot beat Neal.
The home side had further chances after that goal as Vale, with Pope increasingly isolated, failed to build any pressure. As they bossed the game, Wolves duly scored a second goal through Dicko after poor defending on the Vale left-hand side.
Vale then made a triple substitution with Birchall, Williamson and Myrie-Williams all coming on. But moments after the trio came on Dicko scored his second in two minutes as Wolves made it 3-0.
That goal really made it game over and Wolves could even to afford to miss a penalty as Neal made a good save to prevent Dicko securing a hat-trick.
Vale: Neal, Grimmer, Robertson, Duffy (Birchall), Dickinson, Jones , Knott (Williamson), Loft, Dodds (Myrie-Williams), Lines, Pope
Subs: Johnson, Yates, Tomlin, Davis,