Vale were held to a 1-1 draw by Cheltenham Town at Vale Park, in a frustrating afternoon for the Valiants against the Robins.
Vale burst out the gates to start the match, quickly putting the Cheltenham defence under pressure, with Tom Pope looking to work a shooting opportunity inside the first minute.
The Valiants maintained their pressure for the opening five minutes, winning a corner and pressing the Robins’ back line but could find a gap to unleash an effort on goal.
The visitors began to grow into the game as they look to have an attack of their own but were kept at an arm’s length by the Vale side.
With 11 minutes on the clock, Vale came close to opening the scoring when David Worrall whipped in a free-kick following a foul on David Amoo, that was sent back into the box after being cleared where Nathan Smith’s backwards header went just over the bar.
The Robins’ first major attack of the game came in the 15th minute after a Cristian Montano ball was intercepted but the resulting shot was deflected wide.
After withstanding the pressure of Cheltenham, Vale were straight back on the front foot and multiple crosses into the box caused problems for the visitors defence as the game entered the 20th minute.
James Gibbons launched a brilliant counter attack with 22 minutes played, as he broke away before playing a one-two with Tom Pope and playing the ball into the path of Scott Burgess whose first time effort was saved by Scott Flinders.
The visitors launched an instant counter attack of their own straight after and were able to take the lead via Alex Addai when he drilled the ball home from the edge of the box.
Vale were straight back on the attack following the goal with David Amoo and Worrall both continuing to causes problems with balls into the box but the Vale couldn’t find a clear effort on goal.
As the game past the half-hour mark, Leon Legge nearly had the chance to bring Vale level but decided to send the ball into the box rather than volley on goal, and his cross was met by Nathan Smith who headed past the far post.
The Robins nearly doubled their lead soon after as they broke away and saw the ball pulled back to Addai who fried low towards the near post but Scott Brown saved brilliantly with his feet.
Cheltenham came close again just minutes later when the ball was played through to Gavin Reilly who appeared to be in an offside position, where he dragged his shot wide of the far post.
In the 39th minute the persistent pressure of Vale paid off as one of Amoo’s crosses, that had been causing problems all game, was put into the back of the Cheltenham net by their own man Ben Tozer who denied Pope who was waiting behind him.
The Vale came inches from taking the lead with three minutes of the half remaining as Gibbons whipped a stunning ball into the box that Pope was so close to poking into the back of the net.
The second period begun much like the first ended with Vale sending crosses into the box, with Amoo winning a corner that led to a Montano long range strike that flew over the bar.
As the game approached the hour mark, Tom Pope nearly gave Vale lead as Worrall drilled the ball across the face of goal but the striker was just unable to make contact and send the ball over the line.
Five minutes later Pope came even closer to getting on the scoresheet, a long ball to Amoo allowed the winger to find space down the flank where he delivered a low driven cross which was met by Pope but his connection wasn’t clean and as the ball bounced up the keeper was able to pounce on the ball.
Taylor then called keeper Flinders into action, as he unleashed a strike from distance that was saved at the near post.
Luke Joyce was next to have a go, curling a shot towards goal from 20-yards that was deflected by a defenders head out for a corner.
The half remained end to end as the action rolled on and the game entered the final 10 minutes of action, with both sides pushing for a winner.
Addai nearly found the goal to take the lead just eight minutes from time but his effort was saved by Brown to keep the game all tied up.
Vale came close to winning it next, when Gibbons delivered another peach of a ball into the box which Mark Cullen met with his head but his attempt went wide of the post.
With just two minutes remaining Cullen began to pull away into the Robins’ half but before he could get into a shooting position he was deliberately pulled down by his shirt on the half-way line.
As four minutes was added on, a ball over the top was chested down by Cullen but Flinders was put to smother the ball before he could get a shot away.
Port Vale: Brown, Gibbons, Joyce, Legge, Worrall, Montano, Amoo, Smith, Burgess (76’ Cullen), Taylor, Pope.
Unused Subs:, Atkinson, Maddison, Evans, Archer, Browne, Bennett
Cheltenham Town: Flinders, Long, Tozer, Raglan, Clements, Broom, Sheaf (69’ Debayo), Addai, Reilly (69’ Lloyd), Doyle-Hayes, Greaves.
Unused Subs: Lapworth, Thomas, Boyle, Ince, Smith.