A hugely controversial game at Vale Park ended with ten-man Port Vale losing to Bolton after a game that was delayed due to pitch invasions.
Manager Michael Brown started with youngster Dan Turner partnering Rigino Cicilia upfront and recalled winger Jerome Thomas.
However, after a decent Vale start, the match was marred when the referee sent off Cicilia for two yellow cards. It was on of a number of baffling decisions by the officials and it left the Valiants with a massive uphill task as results elsewhere went against them.
Despite being a man light, Vale started the second-half brightly and Jerome Thomas went close to putting Vale in front when his effort hit the post. But moments later, Bolton took the lead when defender David Wheater scored and that prompted ugly incidents as fans from both sides entered the playing area. The incident could have further implications for the club as the FA could now take action against the Valiants.
After a lengthy delay, the match resumed and the visitors wrapped up the win with a goal from Gary Madine. Vale also had a late chance but sub Gezim Shalaj’s effort almost went in but was scrambled clear.
The result left Vale with a mountain to climb as they now need to get maximum points from their remaining games and hope others lose. With their recent form, especially away from home, it now looks a remote possibility.