The Valiants escaped an embarrassing cup exit by the width of a post as they were held to a disappointing draw by League Two Plymouth.
Micky Adams made four changes bringing back Chris Robertson, Anthony Griffith, Jennison Myrie-Williams and goalkeeper Chris Neal.
Initially, the changes appeared to work as Vale went into a 2-0 lead. Jennison Myrie-Williams’ free-kick was headed home by Gavin Tomlin on the quarter hour mark for his fourth goal in four games.
On 36 minutes, Doug Loft broke down the left flank and his cross met Tom Pope who was able to angle his header past keeper Jake Cole.
At that point Vale looked comfortable but they were rocked on 40 minutes when Richard Duffy went down and was stretchered off. Liam Chilvers came on to partner Chris Robertson and the pair’s lack of pace would be exposed by a pacy Plymouth attack.
Vale were given a warning when Obadeyi, who had caused Carl Dickinson problems all game, hit the post and the visitors got their reward on 51 minutes when the prolific Reuben Reid took advantage of poor defending to get one back.
And it got worse for Vale on 74 minutes when substitute Ben Purrington scored after more chaos in the Vale defence and the visitors were definitely in the ascendancy.
After the additions of attacking substitutes Ben Williamson and Jordan Hugill, Vale were looking susceptible to breaks down the flanks with full-backs Yates and Dickinson having little protection. As a result, it was Plymouth who looked the more likely to run out winners and they could have won it when Gurrieri hit the post in the dying minutes.
After such a bright start, it was an insipid ending for Vale whose defence looked exposed to pace throughout the second period. The side were also missing Chris Lines’ deadball expertise while the additions of Williamson and Hugill had left the Vale midfield exposed to an impressive Argyle side.
A replay at Home Park was perhaps reward for the 5-600 travelling Argyle fans who had braved atrocious conditions to make the long Sunday trip up to Vale Park. Meanwhile, the Valiants at least live to fight another day and will be looking for much defensive improvement when the replay takes place.
Vale: Neal, Yates, Robertson, Duffy (Chilvers), Dickinson, Myrie-Williams (Hugill), Griffith, Loft, Dodds (Williamson), Pope, Tomlin
Subs: Johnson, Birchall, Shuker, Lloyd