Port Vale manager Micky Adams admitted he had mixed feelings after his team had to come from behind to secure a point against Chesterfield that keeps them on course for automatic promotion from League Two.

Vale took an early lead against Chesterfield at the Proact Stadium only to fall behind to goals from former striker Marc Richards, and were heading for defeat until Tom Pope grabbed his 31st goal of the campaign in a 2-2 draw.

Adams said: "I've got mixed emotions really. We got off to a great start but credit to Chesterfield, they out-passed us, out-thought us and out-battled us to get back in the game and take a deserved lead.

"We had to change our formation to combat them and that's what we did. I thought second-half we were spot on. We got further up the pitch, we were more aggressive, we were better going forward and we got a deserved draw and could have nicked it at the end.

"We picked up the tempo of the game and when we play with a high tempo, we are a difficult team to play against. We won't know until the end of the season how important this result is but looking at the other results, it's a massive point for us."

Vale went in front in the fifth minute when Darren Purse was allowed to run across the face of goal to head a corner past Tommy Lee from eight yards.

But Chesterfield responded with two goals in the space of four minutes, with a 25-yard free-kick from Richards taking a big deflection to wrongfoot Chris Neal before the striker scored from a tight angle after Neal could only parry a Jay O'Shea shot.

Vale had been second best in the first half but they carried more of a threat after the break, Doug Loft lifting the ball on to the roof of the net in the 66th minute before his 20-yard shot was tipped over four minutes later. But Vale's pressure told in the 85th minute when Pope's downward header squirmed under the body of Lee.

Chesterfield assistant manager Tommy Wright was pleased with the way his players performed against one of the top teams in the division. I thought against a team who are going for promotion we were excellent," he said. "We controlled the game for large periods and passed the ball well. We forced Port Vale into changing their system.

"He (Marc Richards) has not scored as many goals as people would have liked but no-one on the coaching staff doubts what a good player he is. He's one of the top strikers in this division and hopefully next season he will score even more goals. The only thing that disappointed me was the last 20 minutes when I thought we could have counter-attacked better and kept the ball better."