Vale edged out the Highlanders thanks to a double from Natasha McMahon and Michelle Russell getting on to the scoresheet with the victory seeing them leapfrog Hamilton in the league table to keep their top-six hopes alive.
“I thought we dominated the game today,” commented Vale boss McDonald, who added: “Other than a 15-minute spell, we were in complete control.
“We had the opportunities to make the points secure before Inverness scored against the run of play. At that point, we lost our shape and Inverness capitalised on that by scoring again.
“But the girls showed magnificent strength of character to keep fighting and we got our rewards five minutes from the end with the winning goal.
“The last few minutes were very nervy given the way results have gone for us recently and no doubt added quite a few grey hairs on my head.
“Nevertheless, the win was vital for the girls’ confidence and gives us an outside chance of breaking into the top-six before the league split.”
Elsewhere, Hibernian continued their vigorous pursuit of league leaders Glasgow City with a hard-fought 2-1 victory away to Aberdeen.
Former Hibs striker Rebecca Dempster gave the home side a first-half lead from the penalty spot before goals from Laura Kennedy (also a penalty) and Rebecca Zoltie turned the match on its head.
Hibs coach Willie Kirk commented: “It was a pleasing result achieved against very difficult opposition.
“I think the penalty decisions evened themselves out as they were both soft and after we equalised there was only going to be one winner.
“We created a number of opportunities but it took until 15 minutes from the end before Rebecca scored the winning goal.”
Spartans suffered a morale-sapping, club record defeat at the hands of Glasgow City as the teams met in a dress rehearsal for next week’s SWPL Cup final.
Lisa Evans (3), Emma Mitchell, Chloe Fitzpatrick (own goal), Rachel Corsie, Jane Ross, Nicky Docherty and Leanne Ross were on target during a comfortable 9-0 victory for the champions, who were reduced to ten players following the dismissal of Emma Fenton.