The Valiants first away trip of the Sky Bet League One season ended in a 4-0 defeat to fellow promoted side Exeter City.
Two goals in both halves sealed the victory for the Devon side on a day which saw Thierry Small make his debut for Vale and Tom Pett get minutes in the tank.
The hosts took the lead through an unstoppable volley from Harry Kite after the ball was cleared from a corner and fell invitingly for the Grecian midfielder.
Exeter doubled their lead in the 38th minute after a questionable penalty decision was given against Sammy Robinson when he was seen to have pulled down Jack Sparkes, the resulting kick was tucked away by Jevani Brown.
Brown took the game away from Vale midway through the second period, after a counter attacking move, the forward added his second from inside the box.
Minutes later, three turned to four, this time Brown’s strike partner Sam Nombe turned home from close range after receiving the ball from a throw in.
Vale started the brighter of the two sides and nearly took the lead in just the second minute, but Nathan Smith couldn’t add to his goal tally this season as his shot couldn’t make it past Jamal Blackman.
A second opportunity for the visitors came in the 12th minute through Mal Benning, dragging a shot wide after some good play from Robinson and Jamie Proctor to set him up.
As time went on, Exeter started to take control of the match, and their first good opportunity came through Brown when he struck a volley sweetly from 20 yards out, but it flashed wide.
Next up for Darrell Clarke’s side are Rotherham United at Vale Park in the Carabao Cup on Wednesday 10thAugust, where Vale will be looking to bounce back.