Ben Whitfield came off the bench to score a late winner as the ten-man Valiants picked up an important set of three points at home to Chesterfield in Sky Bet League Two.
Vale were dealt a blow just after taking the lead in the first half as goal scorer, Danny Pugh, was then dismissed for a strong challenge almost immediately after he found the net.
Chesterfield then equalised early in the second half via Louis Reed, but despite the one-man disadvantage, the home side put in a spirited performance and Whitfield fired home the decisive goal to spark wild celebrations around Vale Park.
Describing his goal, he said: "Popey's flicked it on and I had told him before that I would get on the end of one. I knew where he was going to direct it and I ran after it, took my shot early, and it went in thankfully.
"The goal was to put us in the lead so there is nothing better than that, especially in such a big game where we needed three points. We got them, so it worked out well.
"It gives us a bit of a confidence boost going into the next game now and that is another important one. We knew this Easter weekend would be big for the club and these three points will prove to be massive - we need to keep pushing up the table now."
Although performances have been there over recent weeks, results were not falling Vale's way, but the relief was evident at the full-time whistle as the gap between Neil Aspin's men and the bottom two widened.
The Valiants are now eight points above Chesterfield who occupy 23rd place, and with a trip to Crewe Alexandra up next on Monday, Whitfield is hoping that he and his teammates can start to build some momentum now.
"We have showed great character today, we didn't stop and it was a never say die attitude from all of the lads," he said.
"We kept pushing, even when we were down to ten men. You had Monty flying down the left wing putting crosses in and that's all you can ask from him, but we battled.
"It should give us a massive lift in confidence. We needed the win and we are determined to get one again on Monday, but if we play like we have today when we have 11 men on the pitch, we are going to get results.
"There should be a good atmosphere at Crewe. We are taking a lot of fans there and they will have a big crowd too, so it will be a huge game. It's a local derby so we need to prove a point there and get the win."