Match report: Crewe 2, Aldershot 2
CREWE booked a play-off semi-final date against Southend after an afternoon of drama at Gresty Road.
The Railwaymen secured the point they needed to nail seventh spot when Luke Murphy crashed home with 14 minutes left.
It was a satisfying finale for Alex ambitions were resting with rivals Port Vale's benevolence for part of the afternoon after they trailed to Aldershot for more than half an hour.
They got off to the best possible start in front of their largest crowd (6,919) of the season when Ajay Leitch-Smith polished off a rebound.
But the Shots looked far from eager to draw the curtains on their season and hit back to lead 2-1 at the break thanks to a Harry Davis own goal and a stunning effort from Mark Molseley.
Crewe were boosted by the presence of Ashley Westwood, who was declared fit after a foot injury to take the captain's armband in the continued absence of Dave Artell (hamstring).
And they got a further fillip with an early goal. Aldershot failed to check Bodin's run down the right, leaving Byron Moore free near the penalty spot ready to take aim. Jamie Young managed to parry the winger's shot, but Leitch-Smith was the quickest to the rebound and drove home the opener (4).
Crewe had penalty shouts turned away when Ben Herd left Matt Tootle sprawled out inside the box after the left-back had cut in from the by-line.
Then Nick Powell found space to flash a volley to trigger Wembley songs from the Alex faithful.
But the Shots responded and Danny Hylton's sweetly-struck volley only just cleared the bar while Darren Jones may have done better with a free shot which the centre-half screwed wide.
Aldershot were defending desperately in the 20th minute when Murphy drove into the box and forced a save out of Young. The ball spun up to the far post where Leitch-Smith's header was cleared off the line by Peter Vincenti.
Crewe's progress was halted, though, when Davis glanced Ben Herd's free kick into his own net under pressure from Hylton (31).
Tootle's direct approach paid off when he delivered for Leitch-Smith to plant a header which Young kept out at his near post.
The visitors were struggling to hold Leitch-Smith and he went close again when he cut in from the right and drove past the far post.
But substitute Molesley left the ground stunned when he left fly from 25 yards and his right-footer sped past Phillips into the far corner to hand the Shots the lead a minute before the interval.
As news Oxford were trailing at Vale filtered through, Kelvin Mellor had the chance to put Crewe level but stumbled agonisingly attempting to put away Leitch-Smith's pull-back.
Hylton was posing problems after the restart as the ball slid across the home six-yard box.
But at the other end Young needed to demonstrate quick reactions to palm over Moore's deflected shot.
Crewe breathed a sigh of relief in the 53rd-minute when Adam Mekki pounced on poor defending and rounded Phillips only to slice wide of an empty net.
While Vale continued to do them a favour with a second goal, Crewe were labouring to make an impact until youngster Max Clayton drove past the far post minutes after replacing Bodin.
Then Westwood's blast was turned away by the inspired Young and Powell crashed the rebound onto the frame.
And there was delight and relief in equal measure around the packed ground when Murphy squared matters up when he positioned himself well to drive a weak clearance first time with his right boot into Young's bottom corner with 14 minutes left.
Crewe: Phillips, Mellor, Tootle, Davis, Dugdale, Bodin (Clayton, 63), Murphy, Westwood (Bell, 87), Moore, Leitch-Smith, Powell
Subs Ray, Brown, Alan Martin
Aldershot: Young, Herd, Straker, Jones, Brown, Morris (Molesley, 27), Payne, Mekki (Bergqvist, 68), Vincenti, Hylton, Connolly (Risser, 63)
Subs: Madjo, Clement