Port Vale could still need five points from their last three games to secure automatic promotion after bottom-of-the-table Aldershot salvaged a deserved 1-1 draw.
Both sides cancelled each other out during a tedious opening 20 minutes before a powerful 25-yard shot from Asa Hall warmed the fingers of Vale goalkeeper Chris Neal.
But the tedium quickly returned, much to the frustration of the home fans who had watched Vale romp to a 7-1 victory over Burton on Friday night.
That changed on the stroke of half-time when Aldershot failed to clear their lines after terrific work by Lee Hughes, allowing Jennison Myrie-Williams to curl a sublime left-foot finish high inside Jamie Young's right-hand post from 16 yards.
Aldershot did not throw in the towel and Jeff Goulding dragged a shot wide before he and fellow striker Craig Reid were replaced by Michael Rankine and Paul McCallum on the hour.
Rankine threatened an equaliser when he headed narrowly wide from Anthony Tonkin's 70th-minute cross and McCallum missed a sitter three minutes later, blazing over a gaping net from six yards.
But the substitutes combined less than 60 seconds later when Rankine headed the ball down for McCallum to atone with an unstoppable right-foot volley from eight yards.