Crewe Alexandra remain in League One despite a 1-0 home defeat to Bradford City in their final game of the season.
Billy Clarke scored the winner midway through the opening half, but a late Gillingham recovery relegated Notts County alongside Crawley Town, Leyton Orient and Yeovil Town.
The Railwaymen had gone into the contest knowing that a draw would be enough to preserve their current standing – and Lauri Dalla Valle twice had opportunities after their opponents already struck a potentially fatal blow.
A free-kick was only partially cleared towards the edge of the area and Clarke despatched a low left-footed finish into the corner.
James Hanson then scooped over another chance after strong work witnessed Jon Stead holding off the challenge of Harry Davis.
Alex defender Jon Guthrie was denied by Ben Williams following the break and Anthony Grant’s 25-yard effort was comfortably taken by the former Gresty Road keeper.
His opposite number Paul Rachubka then superbly turned over from Stead while Ryan Colclough saw late penalty claims waved aside at the other end.
Events elsewhere had seen Crewe worryingly dropping back into the relegation places with only minutes of their campaign remaining.
However, a trio of late Gillingam goals and a 90th minute Coventry City winner suddenly changed the mood on what proved a really dramatic afternoon.
Crewe Alexandra: Rachubka, Ray, Davis, Guthrie (Ness 61), Turton, Grant, Jones (Ajose 70), Leigh, Colclough, Dalla Valle, Haber (Ikpeazu 85)
subs (unused): Cooper, Nolan, Stewart, Garratt
Bradford City: Williams, Darby, Davies, McArdle, Meredith, Routis (Halliday 90), Dolan (Liddle 76), McMahon, Clarke (Sheehan 83), Stead, Hanson
subs (unused): Urwin, Webb-Foster, Mottley Henry, Brennan
Goals: Clarke (23)
Ref: T. Harrington
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