VALE OF LEITHEN2
Whitehill returned from an eight-week lay-off to survive a second-half Vale comeback.
Striker Sean Wringe looped the opener into the net, off keeper Andrew McQueen.
That was added to by Callum Connolly and Jonny Scott-Mercer, making it 3-0 at the interval.
Vale launched an immediate second-half response when Jay Stevens notched a counter, and just after the hour mark it was very much game on when Calum Jackson reacted quickest in the box to make it 3-2.
It was a nervy finish for Welfare, although both Connolly and Tony Muir were thwarted by McQueen when faced with one-on-one situations.