Colin Daniel hit his fourth goal of the season but it was not enough as Barnsley took all three points on Saturday.
Rob Page made three changes to the starting line-up with Tom Pope, Chris Lines and Colin Daniel all starting. Ryan McGivern was named on the bench.
But a bright start was overshadowed by a worrying injury to Freddie Veseli, who remained motionless on the floor for some minutes. However, surprisingly, Veseli was able to resume. Vale suffered another blow on the half-hour mark when the injured Ben Williamson was replaced by Birchall. Then on the stroke of half-time, a blunder by Chris Neal gave the home side the lead.
Barnsley then stretched their lead in the opening moments of the second period as Pearson ran forward unopposed to score via a deflection. Vale countered with a couple of half-chances but the home side were looking comfortable.
However, on the hour mark, Colin Daniel hit his fourth goal in Vale colours to put the Valiants back in the match. The goal spurred Vale into life and Pope had a header cleared off the line.
Vale pushed for an equaliser as Marshall had an effort cleared off the line and then Vale appealed unsuccessfully for a penalty as Pope was downed in the box.
Barnsley countered with a shot from sub Winnall that Neal saved and although Vale pushed for an equaliser, it wouldn’t come.
Vale: Neal, Yates, Veseli, Robertson, Dickinson, Marshall, Lines, O’Connor, Daniel, Pope, Williamson (Birchall)
Subs: Johnson, McGivern, Duffy, Brown, Moore, Lloyd