Adkins: Both teams deserve credit
The point means Scunthorpe have collected 10 from the 12 on offer over the Christmas period, which has seen them benefit from stumbles by Forest and Bristol City.
And top scorer Billy Sharp almost snatched all three points for the Iron, only to be denied by a brilliant save by home keeper Joe Anyon.
"There were a lot of very tired legs out there and both teams deserve enormous credit for the effort they put in at the end of a hectic schedule of fixtures," said Adkins.
"I made a couple of changes to try to freshen things up but the pitch was very heavy and I can't emphasise enough how well my players have performed through the Christmas period.
"It was definitely a point gained rather than two lost, but I would have bet my mortgage on Billy Sharp putting away that chance at the end and it's a good job I didn't. "We are still at the top of the league and although it won't be easy to stay there we will do everything in our power to do so."
Vale manager Martin Foyle praised the effort put in by his injury-hit side.
"It was a magnificent point in the circumstances," he declared.
"Players went down like flies after the Bristol game and 24 hours before the match I didn't have a clue what our team was going to be.
"Some of the lads who came in haven't played much football this season but everyone of them has given everything and I'm over the moon with the performance.
"Anyon has made a great save at the end and deserved to be Man of the Match. He's come on in leaps and bounds and has that touch of arrogance about him, which you sometimes need to succeed."