Port Vale boss Micky Adams had no complaints about the result after seeing his side beaten 3-1 by neighbours Crewe.
Goals from Mathias Pogba, Chuks Aneke and Brad Inman secured three vital points in Alex's battle against relegation and dented the Valiants' already fading hopes of reaching the play-offs.
Tom Pope, who saw a header hit the crossbar in the first half, netted a consolation goal his performance deserved but it was too little, too late for the hosts.
Adams said: "Crewe deserved their win and we can't deny them that. I was disappointed with some aspects of our play more than others.
"I thought going forward and creating chances we did okay, but defensively we were bang average.
"It was a derby game and we needed people with cool heads who could make the right decisions. Our players didn't do that and we've paid the price for it.
"I made a double substitution in the first-half because I wasn't prepared to do nothing. People might say they were the wrong decisions because we've lost the game, but if we had kept going as we were I felt we could have conceded another goal.
"We had a good go towards half-time and could have got back on terms, but the penalty just after the break was a big moment in the game. Lofty (Doug Loft) thinks it was harsh, but I've looked at it and I think it was a penalty."
Loft conceded the penalty three minutes after the interval when he tripped Matt Tootle inside the box.