A long clearance by the Lions' midfielder Dave Savage proved too much for Vale substitute Dean Stokes and the former Chelsea and England striker latched on to the ball to fire in from 12 yards.
Another veteran striker, John Aldridge, scored twice for Tranmere at Sheffield United, and Reading maintained last season's fine form to win a thrilling match against Derby at Elm Park. Stuart Lovell and Trevor Morley put them two up on the hour but Derby drew level with seven minutes remaining.
A minute into stoppage time, the Welsh international Lee Nogan slid home the winner from the player-manager Mick Gooding's cross.
Barry Fry, the Birmingham manager, used all three substitutes at half- time against Charlton at the Valley when the score was goalless. "If I had been allowed six substitutions, I would have taken six off at half- time never mind three," he said.
The changes seemed to have worked when, shortly after the restart, Jason Bowen put the Midlanders ahead. Two goals in a minute gave the Londoners command and they won 3-1. Expect Fry to transfer list all 14 players used first thing tomorrow morning.
Actually, his counterpart Alan Curbishley had also nominated three out- field players as substitutes, and used them all, though not at one throw. "We needed them because it was so hot. I think it's a good idea and a lot of managers are going to use them."
Stoke charged into a three-goal lead in 33 minutes at Leicester, Paul Peschisolido scoring twice, but only just hung on to win 3-2 and there were first wins for Grimsby, Barnsley, Huddersfield, Ipswich and Luton. Five First Division players were sent off and another five received the Order of the Early Bath in the Second Division where Steve Jones of Bournemouth scored a hat-trick to defeat Peterborough.
Relegated Swindon have the only six-points haul in the Second, Stephen Finney's double strike making it three in two Endsleigh games. In the Third, Doncaster, Gillingham and Northampton are the early pacesetters.Reuse content