Port Vale 2 York City 2: Match report
Port Vale let a two-goal slip to take the gloss off their own tribute to club legend Roy Sproson.
On the day when a magnificent statue to the record appearance holder was unveiled outside the main entrance to the club, Micky Adams's team went two up in the first half thanks to Ryan Burge and a Jennison Myrie-Williams penalty.
But York hit back after the break to earn a point with goals from Alex Rodman and Jamie Reed.
With winger Ashley Vincent suspended, Rob Taylor started on the left of midfield for Vale, with Chris Shuker brought in to partner Ryan Burge in the centre.
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Richard Duffy returned at right-back, with Adam Yates switching to the left and John McCombe was back at the centre of defence. Louis Dodds partnered Tom Pope up front.
There had been little action on the pitch before the clock ticked to 8:37, sparking a rousing minute's applause from the crowd in honour of Sproson's 837 starts for the club.
Pope looped a header into the arms of York keeper Michael Ingham as Vale at last showed attacking intent after 13 minutes, but there was little momentum from either side early on.
York were looking dangerous going forward and could have taken the lead after 26 minutes when Jamie Reed's low cross gave Alex Rodman a chance at the far post, but the winger stabbed wide from close range.
Vale woke from their slumber to take the lead just before the half-hour mark. Duffy did well to collect an awkward pass on a raid down the right and his low cross into the box gave Pope a big chance.
The striker's effort from 10 yards was beaten out by Ingham, but as the York defence hesitated, Ryan Burge steamed in to ram home from close range.
The lanky Rodman fired in a low shot from the edge of the area that Vale keeper Chris Neal did well to collect, before the home side surged further ahead two minutes before the break.
Referee Jeremy Simpson ruled that Shuker's shot from 20 yards had been handled inside the area by York skipper Chris Smith and Jennison Myrie-Williams converted the spot-kick, low to the keeper's right.
York's Danny Kearns rattled his shot from an angle not far over when Vale were slow to react to a quickly-taken corner on the left 10 minutes after the break, and the visitors were proving they were still a threat despite a string of wayward shots that failed to trouble Neal.
That threat materialised after 68 minutes when Reed broke through a weak tackle from Clayton McDonald midway inside the Vale half. Rodman charged through the middle, played marginally onside by Yates, before sliding his shot past Neal to reduce the arrears.
Adams made a double substitution after 74, handing Sean McAllister his debut in midfield and throwing on striker Ben Williamson at the same time. Dodds switched to the right and Myrie-Williams to the left, with Shuker and Taylor the men replaced.
Dodds cut in from the right after 82 minutes only to see slice a left-foot shot high and wide as the Valiants looked for a rousing finish, and Pope's subsequent shot was deflected just wide.
Vale were lucky to escape when Kearns wriggled free inside the area only to have a shot deflected just off target, but the home side were caught flat-footed a minute from time.
Smith somehow rose highest to nod down a cross from the left and Reed was on hand to thump in a volley from underneath the crossbar.
Williamson had a shot hooked off the line and Dodds's effort was blocked as the Valiants looked in vain for a late winner.
Port Vale: Neal, Yates, McCombe, McDonald, Taylor (McAllister, 74), Myrie-Williams, Duffy, Burge, Shuker (Williamson, 74), Dodds, Pope. Subs not used: Johnson, Davis, James, Lloyd.
York City: Ingham, Oyebanjo, Smith, Doig, Fyfield, Parslow, Blair, Kearns, Rodman (Walker, 85), Reed, Chambers (Challinor, 56). Subs not used: Musselwhite, McGurk, Potts, Carlisle, McLaughlin.
Referee: J Simpson (Lancashire)