Bury boss Ryan Lowe admitted it’s been an “emotional” campaign at Gigg Lane after his side secured the League Two runners-up spot with a 1-1 home draw against Port Vale.
The Shakers have had to contend with ongoing off-field issues, but despite that have marched relentlessly to automatic promotion.
Lowe said: “It’s been a really emotional season, so it’s great that it’s ended like this.
“It’s been a roller-coaster, but we’ve finally got to where we wanted, and that’s promotion.
“I wanted to be the best in the league right from the start.
“We couldn’t do that and credit to Lincoln, but I am so proud of everyone.
“We’ll have a look at things in the summer and see where we go now, but it’s not quite sunk in yet.
“We have gone through the mill a bit at times, we had to go back to the drawing board, but we’ve worked so hard.
“Nothing is a given in this game, but the whole group of players have been different class throughout.
“Everything I’ve asked for the lads have done. There’s never been any backchat, I’ve not fined anyone – they’ve all been superb and they deserve this success.”
Ex-Bury man Tom Pope went close when his header hit the base of a post.
Pope made no mistake in the 24th minute, however, chesting down before tucking neatly home.
Bury responded by hitting the woodwork themselves as Caolan Lavery thumped the crossbar.
Glasgow Rangers loanee Jordan Rossiter evened it up, curling home from 20 yards.
Bury’s 21-goal man Nicky Maynard struck the crossbar as he almost converted Byron Moore’s cross, before Vale’s Tom Conlon went close to a winner when his shot was brilliantly tipped onto the post by Bury keeper Joe Murphy.
Vale boss John Askey now hopes to get the nod to stay on at Vale Park following next week’s proposed takeover of the club.
Askey said: “We’ll just have to wait and see what happens. All eyes are on next week now I guess.
“Hopefully everything will fall into place for everyone at the club.
“As far as I’m concerned, I’ll have to continue to plan. I’ve got to maintain that professional approach of course.
“The season may have finished now, but this is when all the hard work starts again.
“I’ve got to plan. I wouldn’t be doing my job properly otherwise.
“I’ve been in football long enough to know that you have to be prepared as best you can for whatever comes next.
“There have been highs and lows for me since I came to club, but I’d love to stay here of course.
“I’ve enjoyed my time here and the fans have been brilliant, just like they were again today.”