Match ends, Crewe Alexandra 0, Bradford City 1.
Crewe Alexandra lost at home to Bradford City, but still stayed up on a fraught final afternoon of the League One season.
Billy Clarke's 23rd minute low left-foot volley proved to be the only goal of the game at Gresty Road.
But, after twice looking like they would drop into the bottom four when results elsewhere began to go against them, Crewe survived by two points.
City's win lifted them to seventh in the final table.
The Alex had the better of the first half, twice going close through Lauri Dalla Valle, but it was the Bantams who got the breakthrough, thanks to Clarke's sharpness in front of goal.
|The Alex's recent third tier record|
|Crewe will play at League One level for a fourth successive season, having come up via the play-offs under Steve Davis in 2012.|
|Phil Parkinson's Bradford City followed the Alex up from League Two a year later, after also finishing in seventh.|
A City free-kick was only half cleared to Clarke on the edge of the box and he drilled a low left-foot volley into the bottom right corner.
Sensing that they needed to up the pace in the second half, as worrying score flashes came in from elsewhere, Crewe added more fire power up front with the introduction of Nicky Ajose from the bench.
He twice went close, but it was the Bantams who went closest, when home keeper Paul Rachubka superbly finger tipped Jon Stead's powerful left-foot drive over the bar.
Crewe Alexandra manager Steve Davis told BBC Radio Stoke:
"It's not nice when you're involved in an afternoon like that. It's a horrible feeling. You're up, then you're down and then those late goals made us safe
"I just feel sorry for making for putting the fans through that. I want to move this club on to a place where we're not fighting relegation battles every season
"No doubt the bookies will make us favourites relegation again next season but that's the kind of challenge I like.
"And I just hope that proves just as infectious in the dressing room. We have to learn from the mistakes we have made this season and not put ourselves in the position again."
- 4DavisBooked at 90mins
- 3GuthrieSubstituted forNessat 61'minutes
- 42GrantBooked at 85mins
- 20JonesSubstituted forAjoseat 70'minutes
- 12Dalla Valle
- 25HaberSubstituted forIkpeazuat 85'minutes
- 18RoutisSubstituted forHallidayat 90+1'minutes
- 4DolanSubstituted forLiddleat 76'minutes
- 29McMahonBooked at 79mins
- 10ClarkeBooked at 83minsSubstituted forSheehanat 83'minutes
- 16SteadBooked at 86mins
- 36Mottley Henry
- Tony Harrington
- Shots on Target
Second Half ends, Crewe Alexandra 0, Bradford City 1.
Corner, Bradford City. Conceded by George Ray.
Harry Davis (Crewe Alexandra) is shown the yellow card.
Foul by Harry Davis (Crewe Alexandra).
Jon Stead (Bradford City) wins a free kick in the defensive half.
Substitution, Bradford City. Andy Halliday replaces Christopher Routis.
Foul by Uche Ikpeazu (Crewe Alexandra).
Rory McArdle (Bradford City) wins a free kick in the attacking half.
Anthony Grant (Crewe Alexandra) wins a free kick on the left wing.
Foul by Christopher Routis (Bradford City).
Attempt missed. Jamie Ness (Crewe Alexandra) left footed shot from the right side of the box is high and wide to the left following a corner.
Corner, Crewe Alexandra. Conceded by Andrew Davies.
Jon Stead (Bradford City) is shown the yellow card.
Substitution, Crewe Alexandra. Uche Ikpeazu replaces Marcus Haber.
Anthony Grant (Crewe Alexandra) is shown the yellow card.
Foul by Anthony Grant (Crewe Alexandra).
Jon Stead (Bradford City) wins a free kick in the attacking half.
Substitution, Bradford City. Alan Sheehan replaces Billy Clarke.
Billy Clarke (Bradford City) is shown the yellow card.