The Valiants picked up there third home win of the season, putting in a gutsy performance against Plymouth as a Nathan Smith header gained Vale a well-deserved three points, despite be forced to make three first-half changes due to injury.
Plymouth had the first chance of the game as the ball was sent into Vale’s box, but Nathan Smith was able to block the initial attempt on goal before it the ball was cleared by Adam Crookes.
In the 7th minute Plymouth had another opportunity, with Byron Moore cutting in on the right-wing before testing Scott Brown from close range.
The rest of the opening 15 minutes was fairly even, with Plymouth able to forge the better of the chances, but Vale were strong defensively and continued to pose a threat on the attack when in possession of the ball.
As the match reached the 20th minute, Vale looked like they were getting close to finding an opening goal but were dealt a massive blow as David Amoo was forced off with an injury following a set-piece ball into the box, clutching his hamstring as he was replaced by Jake Taylor.
Things then got worse for John Askey as he was forced to make another change with Tom Conlon caught in a crunching challenge on the edge of his box and after receiving treatment on his knee had to leave the field with Callum Evans taking his place.
Despite the injuries Vale remained on the front-foot and kept their foot on the gas as they searched for the first goal of the game, with Richie Bennett getting on the end of a ball into the box but his header going over the bar.
In a remarkable turn of events, Vale were forced into their third change due to injury inside just 34 minutes, with substitute Evans appearing to injure his hamstring, and winger Rhys Browne coming on to make his Port Vale debut.
Again Vale maintained their pressure though, with Bennett trying to break through the Plymouth defence and having a dinked effort just land on the roof of the net.
Rhys Browne was able to show some of his class with a skilful turn around Danny Mayor before the Plymouth man was forced to bring him down to end his breakaway, receiving a yellow card for his troubles.
Browne again used a skilful roll to beat his man before giving the ball to David Worrall 20-yards out, who had a hard, low effort saved by Alex Palmer.
Vale nearly had the perfect start to the second period, winning a corner early on which was met by Nathan Smith whose header was heading into the back of the net only to be denied at the last second as it was headed off the line.
Plymouth looked to respond with a big chance of their own, with Mayor bursting down the wing before pulling the ball back across the face of goal but Smith returned the favour and cleared the ball before anything could come from it.
With 55 minutes on the clock Cristian Montano nearly put the Vale in front, making a brilliant run through the Plymouth midfield before unleashing a viscous effort from30-yards out that stung the keepers hands and went out for a corner.
It was Leon Legge’s turn to come close next, rising the highest to connect with a Worrall cross but his header went over the bar.
In the 66th minute Danny Mayor again looked to cause problems, going down the flank before drilling a ball across the face of goal but there was no one to meet it as Vale continued to put in a gritty defensive display.
The duo of Rhys Browne and James Gibbons continued to work well together and caused a lot of problems for the Plymouth defence as the Valiants battled on for a goal.
In the 76th minute Vale got their goal and they really did deserve it, Bennett with some great work to keep possession for the Vale and before he sent a very inviting ball into the six-yard box where Nathan Smith arrived at the back post to head into the back of the net.
Just minutes later Vale nearly, and maybe should have, double their lead, Bennett again at the heart of the move, using some outstanding footwork to wriggle through an array of defenders in the box where he laid it off to Montano who fired just over the far top corner.
Vale continued their solid defensive work to see out the game and come away with a hard earnt three points at Vale Park along with another clean sheet.
Port Vale: Brown, Gibbons, Smith, Legge, Crookes, Joyce, Conlon (22’ Evans (34’ Browne)), Worrall , Amoo (19’ Taylor), Montano, Bennett.
Unused Subs: Maddison, Kennedy, Cullen, Pope.
Plymouth Argyle: Palmer, Wooton, Canavan, Sarcevic, Edwards (76’ Cooper), Taylor (63’ Telford), Mayor, Baxter, Moore, McFadzen (76’ Rudden), Grant.
Unused Subs: Cooper, Sawyer, Amison, Grant.