Vale conceded their first goal in over 300 minutes as their winning run came to an end after defeat to Oldham.
Rob Page named an unchanged starting eleven for the fourth game in a row. Colin Daniel came on for the departed Greg Luer on the bench.
But Vale started very slowly with Chris Robertson’s mistake gifting Oldham an early chance that they spurned. Vale countered with a chance for Pope but the performance was a pale shadow of the efforts shown in the previous three games. And Vale’s poor showing was punished just before the break when the visitors took the lead through a free-kick from Michael Jones.
The Valiants did better in the second period. On the hour mark, Williamson forced a good save and then Pope’s effort was cleared off the line. The Vale were forcing a succession of corners but just couldn’t get that equalising goal. Rob Page threw caution to the wind and put on Dodds for Robertson. But it was to no avail as the Vale slumped to a disappointing home defeat.
Vale: Neal, Veseli, Robertson (Dodds), Inniss, Dickinson, Marshall (Daniel), Brown (Lines), O’Connor, Moore, Pope, Williamson
Subs: Johnson, Yates, McGivern, Birchall