Clayton Donaldson's second-half penalty earned Crewe a 1-1 draw that hits Lincoln's survival hopes.
Donaldson netted to cancel out Paul Green's opener and leave Steve Tilson's men still looking for their first win in seven games.
The visitors started with intent and Luke Howell capitalised on Danny Blanchett's slip only for Ali Fuseini to blast the winger's cross over the bar.
Ben Hutchinson then misjudged another Howell cross when well placed to score before Clark Keltie's 25-yard screamer struck the crossbar.
Crewe almost broke the deadlock when Joel Grant played a fine one-two with Donaldson before unleashing a low drive which was parried by Elliot Parish into the path of Shaun Miller, who could not direct his header on target.
Fuseini had two more bites at the cherry at the other end, hitting one over and drawing a reflex save from Rhys Taylor with the other.
The Imps had calls for a penalty waved away when Julian Kelly went over the outstretched leg of Patrick Ada a little too easily for the liking of referee Pat Miller.
The visitors took the lead two minutes after the break when Danny Hone headed a corner back across goal, allowing Green to swivel and strike the ball in via the post.
But Donaldson fired Crewe level in the 76th minute from the penalty spot after Hone dragged back Ashley Westwood in the box.
Gavin McCallum went close to a winner for the Imps but fired wide and saw another effort blocked by Lee Bell before Hutchinson headed over from five yards out at the death.