Debutant striker Jordan Hugill put an early header wide and Crawley forward Emile Sinclair was off target after getting clean through before midfielder Louis Dodds fired Vale ahead in only the 10th minute.
Skipper Doug Loft doubled the advantage on 22 minutes with a fierce shot from 12 yards after being set up by Hugill, who had been recalled from a loan spell at Gateshead.
Vale continued to threaten and Dodds flashed a right-foot shot wide of Jones's right-hand post before Hugill forced the Crawley keeper to save well after a deep cross from Chris Lines.
Striker Ben Williamson made the game safe for Vale 12 minutes after the break by racing through from just inside the halfway line before beating Jones with a well-placed low drive.
Below-par Crawley never threatened a comeback and failed to score at home for the first time this season.
- Sports & Recreation
- Louis Dodds
- Emile Sinclair