Port Vale conceded a late penalty as their unbeaten league run came to an end on New Year’s Day.
Manager Neil Aspin made one change bringing in Tom Anderson for the out-of-contract and injured Gavin Gunning. In a bright opening both sides had chances. Vale’s opportunities came from Tom Anderson and Antony Kay while Vale were grateful to Ryan Boot for two excellent first-half saves.
Aspin brought on Tyrone Barnett for Montano at the break and Vale had two early chances in the early stages of the second-half with Harness prominent in both. However, Vale were dealt a blow when Anderson suffered a facial injury and was replaced by James Gibbons.
There was a further worry for Vale when Boot went down in an incident which provoked handbags. However, the young goalkeeper was able to continue.
The defining moment of the game came with six minutes to go, when the home side were awarded a penalty after Harness fouled Stead in the penalty box. Stead made no mistake from the spot.
Vale rallied and had chances for Barnett and Worrall but to no avail as they started 2018 with a narrow away defeat.
Vale: Boot, Davis, Smith, Anderson (Gibbons), Pugh, Montano (Barnett), Tonge, Kay, Harness, Whitfield (Worrall), Pope
Subs: Lainton, Forrester, Turner, Denton
Attendance: 7,241 (1,104 away)