CREWE ended the season on a high despite missing out on a top-five finish by the narrowest of margins.
Saturday's 2-1 win over Garswood United at the Cumberland Arena saw them finish level on points and goal difference with Bollington, only to miss out on fifth spot due to having scored fewer goals.
'It was a shame, especially as their keeper made a great save from Nick Butterworth with three minutes to go, but I've said all along that sixth place was probably more realistic,' said manager Ian O'Reilly.
'We've still had a great season. I said at the start that I thought we had our strongest squad and I think the lads have proved it. We got off to an inconsistent start and our goal difference was -25 at Christmas, so we've really turned it around to finish with a tally of plus four.'
After a goalless first half on Saturday, Garswood went ahead just after the break, prompting O'Reilly into a tactical switch.
He explained: 'We played Jon Dawson on his own up front and he did really well. But once we went behind, I pushed Danny Brazendale up alongside him and within a few minutes we were level through Danny Massey, who has been playing ever so well recently.'
Crewe snatched victory 15 minutes from time when Gary Longson headed home a corner at the back post.
'The lads knew we needed another goal and really went for it, but it wasn't to be in the end.'
Crewe will now be looking to finish their campaign with some silverware and can enjoy a double triumph next weekend.
They hope to start with a successful defence of the Crewe FA Cup on Saturday and will then contest the final of the Roger Haydock Trophy against Whitchurch Alport or Whitchurch Reserves on Sunday (6.30pm), provided they overcame Loppington in last night's semi-final.