Crewe Alexandra survived relegation following a 2-1 victory against play-off visitors Preston North End at Gresty Road.
The Railwaymen made a great start with Adam Dugdale heading in John Guthrie’s tenth-minute corner and Mathias Pogba doubled their advantage on the hour.
Preston didn’t manage a reply until John Welsh netted in added time but their opponents safely made it across the line.
Leading scorer Chuks Aneke returned on the bench but it was Matt Tootle’s early shot being blocked and Dugdale heading in Guthrie’s subsequent corner.
Bailey Wright and Joe Garner both nodded over in reply while Byron Moore went down inside the opposite area and Uche Ikpeazu stabbed wide.
Home keeper Ben Garratt made a fine stop following the break and Garner struck wide, until Ikpeazu crossed for Pogba to extend the lead.
Goalscorer Pogba had another chance but couldn’t find the required finish on Moore’s cross while both Paul Gallagher and substitute Alan Browne replied without success.
Preston keeper Declan Rudd next gathered an Ikpeazu header and then turned onto the crossbar from substitute Aneke’s superb chip before Welsh volleyed a late reply.
Crewe Alexandra: Garratt, Tootle, Dugdale, Ellis, Guthrie, Grant, Turton, Nolan, Pogba (Aneke 74), Ikpeazu (Leitch-Smith 86), Moore
subs (unused): Mellor, Clayton, Ray, Oliver, Phillips
Goals: Dugdale (10), Pogba (60)
Preston North End: Rudd, Wright, Laird, Welsh, King, Wiseman, Holmes (Humphrey 62), Kilkenny (Browne 61), Garner, Beavon (K. Davies 61), Gallagher
subs (unused): Stuckmann, Keane, Buchanan, C. Davies
Goals: Welsh (90)
Ref: A. Haines
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