CREWE exacted sweet revenge over Leeds in an illtempered affair on Saturday.
They were eager to earn retribution after suffering a 5-1 reverse to the visitors earlier in the season, and showed great character to come from behind to achieve it.
Andrew Ashworth's second hat-trick in two games contributed strongly and the result helped Crewe leapfrog Leeds into fifth spot in the North League Division One.
Leeds had the better of the opening exchanges and drew first blood on 13 minutes from a fast breakaway and simple tap-in.
But Crewe began to settle and hit back six minutes later when Henry Weir's cross was converted by Ashworth.
This spurred the hosts to step up the pace, and Ollie Cooper twice went close before Ashworth plundered his second on 24 minutes after a fine pass from Robin Cooper.
They kept up their momentum after the break, and Ollie Cooper swept home from a corner to extend the lead to 3-1 early on. But Leeds were not beaten and clawed the game back to 3-3 with two well-taken efforts.
Keeper Ian Ward kept Crewe in it with a couple of excellent saves, setting the tone for Ash-worth to complete his treble from Weir's cross. Dave Holland's late penalty flick sealed a super win.
Crewe 2nds threw away a two-goal advantage to slip to a disastrous 3-2 defeat at Bowdon 5ths.
Knowing that a win would make them safe and relegate the hosts, Chris Regan, Phil Robinson and Neil Darling combined well to tee-up Graham Cooke for the opener.
And they repeated the move soon after, with Cooke again the beneficiary.
But the visitors sat back after the break and were punished when Bowdon hit back to take the points. Crewe must win their final two games to be certain of avoiding the drop from North West Division Four.
The 3rds lost 8-4 to Tameside 2nds.
Crewe Ladies made it 16 points from six games with an impressive 4-0 demolition of Wigan. Expecting a tough encounter after a narrow 3-2 win earlier in the campaign, they opened with an intensity and energy which proved too much for their opponents. Goals from Shez Tomkinson, Dionne Johnson, Gilly Blythe and Tracey Brookfield did the dama g e.