Macclesfield Town recorded a crucial win as a stunning David Fitzpatrick strike sealed all three points at Vale Park.
Both teams looked cautious early on and appeared reluctant to risk too much in the opening exchanges, with a Luke Hannant header the pick of the chances early on.
Callum Evans tried to catch Scott Brown out at his near post, but the Vale keeper adjusted quickly to deal with Evans’ driven effort.
Elliott Durrell looked to push at the Vale defence, and midway through the first period he found himself free down the right-hand side, but his cross drifted away from Smith and into the side netting.
Reece Cole replaced the injured Ben Stephens and produced a dangerous cross on the 40-minute mark, but Fiacre Kelleher’s header drifted just wide of the far post.
Cole was involved once more just moments later as his shot from the edge of the box was parried away by Brown, before the Vale defence cleared the ball to safety.
Macc conjured one more opportunity before half time, but the referee blew for the interval just as Kelleher was about to shoot from just inside the area, much to the dismay of the Silkmen players and travelling fans.
Macc came out with intent in the second period, with Reece Cole and Harry Smith forcing Scott Brown into two early saves.
Michael Rose then came close as he tried his luck from the edge of the area, but he slipped upon making contact with the ball and his shot flew harmlessly wide.
Smith then tested Brown once more, but the Vale keeper did well to deny Harry from close in.
Then came the goal, Fitzpatrick found himself with space on the edge of the area and unleashed a thunderous drive into the top left-hand corner to give Macc a deserved lead.
Danny Elliott came close to drawing the hosts level with 20 minutes to go, but he could only find the side netting from a tight angle.
Smith then tried to double our advantage as he was played in down the right, but his left footed flick was easy for Brown to deal with.
Vale applied pressure late on, but Macc held on to record a crucial victory.