Paul Digby’s own goal ensured the Valiants won on the road for the second time in as many away games down at the Abbey Stadium against Cambridge United.
Vale got the breakthrough with just over 10 minutes to go after Will Forrester broke from centre-back to put a ball into the box from the right-hand side, which Digby turned into his own net.
Darrell Clarke made five changes from the 2-2 draw with Forest Green Rovers last Saturday, with Mipo Odubeko coming into the side to lead the line alongside Gavin Massey.
Connor Hall, David Worrall, Tom Pett, and Mal Benning all also made their way into the starting 11 in Cambridgeshire, showing Vale’s strength in depth.
Pett was the first to have an attempt on the Cambridge goal, firing a shot over the bar from just outside the box, after Worrall set it up nicely for him with his head.
In the 10th minute, Massey had a great chance to give the Vale the lead when Odubeko set our number 19 through on goal, but unfortunately, William Mannion did well to tip his well-struck shot over the bar.
Odubeko then created a chance for himself, firing a low effort from 20 yards out which he saw tipped onto the post by Mannion.
Only moments later, the U’s keeper was called into action once again when he had to hold on to a Massey shot from distance.
Unfortunately for the Valiants, just 23 minutes into the contest, they saw their own keeper Jack Stevens forced off with a knee injury, with last season’s star man in goal, Aiden Stone, coming on for the 25-year-old.
Vale kept Mannion very busy in the first half, and just 10 minutes before the interval he was forced into a brilliant stop with his feet to divert Ben Garrity’s effort from close range away from danger.
From that smart stop, the hosts broke up the other end, with Jack Lankester firing just over the bar after a sweeping move, their first meaningful chance of the match.
Seconds before the break, Tom Conlon connected brilliantly with the ball when it fell to him 25 yards from goal, and it took a United body to prevent the strike from troubling the keeper.
With just under 20 minutes to go, Connor Hall nearly scored an incredible goal after he produced magic feet to get past two United players before bending a brilliant effort toward goal, but it went just over the bar.
After the goal, the Valiants' defence put in a number of heroic blocks to see out the victory, with the win seeing us climb up the table to 14th.
Cambridge United | Mannion, Williams, Digby, Taylor (46’ Okenabirhie), Jones, Brophy, O’Neil (62’ Simper), Smith, Lankester (62’ Tracey), Okedina, Knibbs (62’ Ironside)
Unused Subs | Holden, Ibsen Rossi, Worman
Port Vale | Stevens (23’ Stones), Hall, Smith, Worrall (72’ Robinson), Garrity, Conlon, Benning (85’ Jones), Forrester, Massey (85’ Charsley), Odubeko, Pett (72’ Butterworth)
Unused Subs | Cass, Holden
Attendance | 6,218 (732 Valiants)