Level at 1-1 in the second half after Connor Cardle’s headed goal following a short corner cancelled out Vale’s first half opener, players and management of bottom club United howled for a spot kick after an apparent clear foul on Cardle.
But it wasn’t given and they were made to pay later on when Vale netted the winner when the rebound was scored following a corner.
"The ball was cut back to Connor and the boy took him out but no penalty was given which was a strange decision,” said United co boss Simon Eeles.
"But these things sometimes go against you when you are down there unfortunately.
"The referee had a very good view of it. He said that he thought it was a collision which was disappointing because it was a trip.
“Overall the feeling was frustration for everybody including the players.
"First half we didn’t play as well as we could have. Second half I thought we were quite dominant in spells and it was just a case of not taking our chances.
"We had actually defended really well throughout the game – I was pleased with that – but two lapses in concentration cost us unfortunately.
"I thought it was definitely a game we should have taken something from.
"After their second goal the boys were still pushing hard to try and get an equaliser.
"It just wasn’t to be on the day.
"The boys are working hard. I was really disappointed for them on Saturday because they’ve worked really hard in training, they’ve worked hard trying to improve their fitness levels, we’ve worked a lot on shape.
"There’s been a lot of things going in the right direction, it’s just unfortunate that we couldn’t get over the line on Saturday.
"But if they keep doing what we’re doing I’m very positive that results will start to turn round quickly.”
On a positive not, Eeles revealed that well over £5000 has been donated already towards United’s appeal for funding in the wake of their stands being destroyed by Storm Arwen.
“It’s amazing,” Eeles said. “People have been very, very generous, so I’m absolutely ecstatic.”
United are at Renfrew in The Kilmarnock Pie West of Scotland League Cup first round this Saturday, KO 1.30pm.
"That’s going to be a really good test,” Eeles said. “Renfrew are going really well.
"They’re a really good side. I know Jimmy Quigley very well the manager, he’s got them doing really well since he took over.
"It will be a tough game but one we’re really looking forward to.”