York came back from two goals down to extend Port Vale's winless league run to five games.
Ryan Burge fired Vale ahead against the run of play after Top Pope saw a shot saved by Michael Ingham.
Jennison Myrie-Williams doubled the lead from the spot after Chris Smith had handled Chris Shuker's effort.
Alex Rodman's composed finish pulled a goal back, before Jamie Reed poked home to level late on as Vale fell further behind leaders Gillingham.
VIEW FROM THE DRESSING ROOM
York City manager Gary Mills told BBC Radio York:
"We were the better team today and to go in 2-0 down was a travesty to be honest.
"I thought it was very a dubious penalty and we said 'let's go and win it' and that was our talk at half-time.
"We got the equaliser and again it's the least we deserved. I thought we were excellent today."
Port Vale 01 Neal 02 Yates 05 McCombe 14 McDonald 24 Duffy 03 Taylor (McAllister - 74' ) 09 Myrie-Williams 15 Shuker (Williamson - 74' ) 23 Burge 08 Dodds 11 Pope Substitutes 12 Johnson 17 Davis 20 McAllister 21 James 22 Lloyd 19 Williamson York 24 Ingham 02 Oyebanjo 04 Smith Booked 06 Parslow 16 Fyfield 23 Doig 17 Blair 28 Kearns 33 Rodman (Walker - 85' ) 07 Reed 10 Chambers (Challinor - 56' ) Substitutes 01 Musselwhite 05 McGurk 22 Carlisle 19 Potts 20 Challinor 26 McLaughlin 09 Walker
Ref: Jeremy Simpson