A late penalty proved to be the match winner as Port Vale’s ten men lost at the Highbury stadium.
Rob Page named an unchanged starting eleven and for the most part of the first-half the Vale were comfortable.
However, with moments remaining of the half, striker Jordan Slew was sent-off for violent conduct and Vale faced an uphill task.
The Valiants rattled the crossbar through Pope on 55 minutes but were grateful to Chris Neal for a superb double save minutes later.
However, with ten minutes left, the deadlock was broken when McGivern held back substitute Ball and Dobbie made no mistake from the spot-kick.
That proved to be it as far as Vale’s ten men were concerned as they lost their first game during interim manager Rob Page’s reign.
Vale: Neal, Yates, Duffy, McGivern, Dickinson, Dodds (Birchall), O’Connor, Lines, Marshall (Williamson), Slew, Pope
Subs: Johnson, Zubar, Moore, Brown, Daniel