Crewe manager Steve Davis admitted he was relieved his gamble to field a starting XI made up entirely of academy graduates paid dividends after a 2-0 home win over Walsall.
Second-half goals from Luke Murphy and Chuks Aneke ensured the Alex young guns ended the season in style.
Murphy's penalty opened the scoring before Aneke put the result beyond doubt with a superb finish four minutes from time.
Crewe started the game with a team of players who had gone through the club's famous youth system, but it was still an experienced line-up with more than 800 appearances between them and only goalkeeper Ben Garratt making his debut.
Davis said: "I'm immensely proud of all the boys. It's a massive achievement for this club.
"It was a brave decision and it could have backfired, but the lads showed how talented they are and what this club is all about.
"If it had gone wrong it could have fallen flat and everyone would have been gunning us down, saying they could have sent out their kids to get beaten four or five nil."
Saddlers managers Dean Smith said: "There is no way it was a penalty and I'm disappointed that a poor refereeing decision has changed the outcome of the game.
"It's disappointing because we have had a great season and that has taken the wind out of sails right at the end.
"We played really well on a really tough pitch and both teams tried to play. We had enough chances to score a few goals, but we didn't take them."