Curtis Weston's 25-yard screamer saw Gillingham stretch their unbeaten run to five games with a 1-1 draw which keeps Crewe out of the play-off zone.
Weston struck after the break to cancel out team-mate Tony Sinclair's first-half own goal.
Danny Shelley went close for Crewe with an early effort before scuffing wide after being picked out by Ajay Leitch-Smith
Byron Moore also teed up the busy Shelley but goalkeeper Alan Julian saved well with his feet.
The Gills' plans suffered an early blow when Simon King's first start in 21 months was cut short by injury after just 17 minutes.
And things got worse when his replacement Sinclair turned Shelley's low cross into his own net 10 minutes later.
The visitors had offered little with Adebayo Akinfenwa's long-range effort blocked by Dave Artell before strike partner Cody McDonald could tuck it away.
But the Gills were level 10 minutes after the break when Weston netted with a rising 25-yard thunderbolt that left keeper Rhys Taylor with no chance.
Akinfenwa then saw his goalbound snapshot kept out by Taylor before Luke Murphy was denied at the other end by a good stop from Julian.
Murphy blazed another effort over the bar as Crewe pressed for a late winner.
Copyright (c) PA Sport 2009, All Rights Reserved.