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."