Tom Pope netted his nineteenth of the season as Vale helped secure League Two safety with a draw at Mansfield.
Manager Neil Aspin named a defensive starting line-up with veteran Danny Pugh returning to the midfield. Vale didn’t manage to create any chances of note in the first period which was largely dominated by the home side who launched a succession of long balls to test the Valiants defence.
Midfielder Michael Tonge was replaced by Whitfield after picking up an injury as the home side continued to dominate proceedings. Young keeper Sam Hornby came to the rescue on the hour mark with a fine save to maintain Vale’s clean sheet.
As the match reached the final stages, Vale did get the odd chance with Luke Hannant testing the goalkeeper.
However, the home side finally took the lead with twenty minutes left as Mansfield pressed, Sam Hornby was unable to gather the ball and confusion between Raglan and Howkins saw the West Brom man knock the ball over the line.
Vale countered by bringing on Dan Turner to partner Pope but Howkins was close to conceding a second own-goal as Mansfield looked to make it safe.
But with time seemingly running out, sub Turner found Pope who netted to make it 1-1 with a minute of normal time remaining and despite five minutes of stoppage time, Vale held on for a priceless point which means they will stay in League Two this season.
Vale: Hornby, Raglan, Smith, Howkins, Gibbons, Worrall, Kay, Tonge (Whitfield), Pugh (Turner), Hannant, Pope
Subs: Boot, Davis, Howe, Barnett, Forrester