The Valiants were only able to pick up a point as they were held to a 0-0 draw by Oldham Athletic at Vale Park, in a frustrating afternoon where their unbeaten home run was extended to eight games.
Jake Taylor took on the first shot of the game, finding space on the edge of the area and tried to curl the ball towards goal like he has before but his effort was blocked out for a corner.
Taylor again came close to putting the Vale in front in the 3th minute as the ball fell to him around the six-yard box, but as he reached for the ball he was only able to poke it just wide.
The Vale controlled the majority of the opening 10 minutes, with the visitors only being able to generate one chance, but Scott Brown was able to comfortably collect the cross.
David Amoo used the slippery surface to his advantage, causes problems for the Lactics’ defence with surging runs down the wing and through the middle, to launch Vale attacks.
In the 15th minute of the game Oldham saw their first major. Bit of pressure, as Leon Legge was caught in possession and they broke on the counter, but the Vale defence was able to hold strong, blocking two initial efforts before a third attempt was saved and Cristian Montano was able to get the ball clear.
Nathan Smith was next to come close, nearly adding to his tally for the season, as Joyce floated a ball towards the back post where Richie Bennett headed the ball into the centre of the box and Smith chested it down and unleashed a volley that was saved fantastically by Zeus De La Paz.
At the half hour mark Montano made an excellent driving run from the left flank before cutting inside the box and rifling a shot at goal that pinballed off three defenders before eventually being cleared.
Oldham again piled on the pressure a few minutes later, as a Scott Burgess free-kick was intercepted and Scott Wilson broke away on the counter, where he went on to pull the ball back towards the edge of the box but it was intercepted, Vale struggled to clear their lines though and Chris McCann hit one from 30-yards that just went over the bar.
With five minutes left of the half Vale played some beautiful passing football to work the ball into a dangerous position, and Joyce again was able to deliver a dangerous ball into the box which Amoo flicked towards the back post with his head and again forced a top save from De La Paz.
The Valiants would not relieve their pressure and won a string of corners as Browne and Montano had efforts on goal blocked and saved by the visitors who had all their men behind the ball.
As the half entered added time Montano made another darting run down the wing and drilled a low hard effort at the near post from a difficult angle and De La Paz was again called into action, to deny Vale a late lead.
Oldham started the second-half brightly, and Tom Hamer hitting a volley from 25-yards through a crowded box but Brown was able to get down and save the ball
The Vale began to find their way back into the half but were nearly caught out by an Oldham counter attack when the ball was sent over the top to Desire Segbe Azankpo who dragged his effort just past the far post.
Will Atkinson nearly made an instant impact off the bench as he was threaded through by Montano, but he was unable to keep his ball across the face of goal down and it swerved out for a corner.
Atkinson continued to cause trouble for the visitors, and in the 72nd minute he used some great skill to flick the ball past Jamie Stott inside the box before he appeared to be wrestled to the ground by the defender, but the referee waved it away much to the Vale fans dismay.
With 15 minutes to play John Askey made an attacking minded double substitution, sending on Tom Pope and Mark Cullen for Bennett and Burgess, as the Vale kept searching for a goal to put them in front.
Against the run of play Oldham were nearly able to snatch a late goal, as Wilson broke away down the wing and drilled a low ball across the face of goal where it was met by Azankpo but the forward was unable to keep his effort down and it flew over the bar.
Port Vale: Brown, Gibbons, Joyce, Legge, Worrall, Montano, Amoo, Smith, Browne, Taylor (58’ Atkinson), Burgess (75’ Cullen), Bennett (75’ Pope).
Unused Subs:, Brisley, Archer, Maddison, Evans.
Oldham: De La Paz, Iacovitti, Stott, Morais (84’ Eagles), Wilsonn (81’ McKinney, Missilou, Azankpo, McCann, Smith, Wheater, Hamer.
Unused Subs: Emerson, Sylla, Grundy, Gaskell, McHale.