MUCH was expected of Prestatyn Town heading into the season after some high-profile signings, and the JD Cymru North frontrunners have duly delivered.

The Seasiders’ all-but clinched the second-tier crown on Saturday with a narrow 1-0 victory over nearest challengers Flint Town United, opening up the gap at the summit to 16 points having played twice more than the Silkmen.

Only their FAW Domestic Licence application stands between them and promotion back to the JD Cymru Premier at the second time of asking, rounding off a hugely successful 18 months since manager Neil Gibson came back into the fold.

Things did not look good at the club when he was brought back in by the new ownership team of Neal and Salih Colakoglu, with Town sitting in the Huws Gray Alliance relegation zone and staring back to back demotions in the face.

Gibson steadied the ship and steered the club comfortably away from danger last term and built on that with a series of formidable signings that boasted experience at the highest level.

Expectation could not have been higher at the Motion Finance Stadium and that comes with additional pressure, but the right blend of youth and veteran leadership with Prestatyn’s dressing room has given them a coping mechanism that has enabled the club to conquer almost every challenge during the season.

They have tasted defeat just twice in the league against Rhyl and Penrhyncoch, in addition to a narrow Nathaniel MG Cup reverse to established top-flight side Bala Town.

That represents a significant achievement for a side that has had its fair share of injury problems during the season. The one thing Gibson has at his disposal is quality strength in depth that has got them through tricky fixtures with positive results to continue their outstanding momentum.

The likes of Kai Edwards, Aex Jones, Ben Maher, Jon Rushton, Mike Parker and Jordan Davies have seen it all and played a leading role in their expected title triumph, but the emergence pf players such as Dan Roberts, Danny Davies and Macauley Taylor has been equally as impressive and will make sure the long-term future of the club is in good hands.

A lot has been made of the increased level of quality in the JD Cymru North this season, which makes the Seasiders’ overall dominance of the division an incredible achievement and one that will stand them in good stead as they try and re-establish themselves as a Premier force next time around.

The majority of this side were on the books last time Town played in the top-flight, and they will undoubtedly want to right some wrongs and with a couple of new faces then who knows what they are capable of next term.

Gibson deserves an enormous amount of credit for getting the club back to the cusp of the Welsh pyramid summit once again. Coming back to a club where you are so revered for a second spell could have impacted his overall legacy if things had not gone right.

Instead, he has brought in players he can trust who have fully bought into his ethos and mentality, something that has brought significant success during his tenure.

It’s one thing having large expectations from supporters and everyone not associated with the club going into a campaign, but it is another delivering on them. The Seasiders’ have done all that and more.

The manager will be keen to avoid complacency and finish the season strongly, and there is also the prospect of knockout progression as they prepare to take on Flint again this weekend with a place in the JD Welsh Cup semi-finals at stake.

Things are really looking up for an ambitious club who have plenty of exciting ideas to progress off the pitch in the coming years, and if they keep delivering as they have on it then the sky is the limit.