ANOTHER bumper crowd at Caernarfon Town for their JD Welsh Cup clash with The New Saints of Oswestry Town was further proof that the club belongs in the top flight.

The hard work starts now for Sean Eardley’s side, who gave a very good account of themselves against the all-conquering full-time outfit before eventually falling to a 3-1 defeat.

More than 1,400 fans packed out The Oval to support their team, and it now up to the management and playing staff to get them over the line and book their place at the top of the Welsh pyramid.

All the foundations are now in place for this to happen, and few would begrudge the Canaries a place in the WPL after narrowly missing out for a number of seasons.

Just a small number of games stand between them and Huws Gray Alliance glory once again, and the Cofis can take plenty of positives from their defeat to the champions which could provide the spark to get them through the rest of the season.

They are in the midst of a gruelling run and despite having their backs to the wall on numerous occasions, Eardley’s men have dug deep and kept their points tally ticking away despite odds not being in their favour at times.

This is testament to not only the quality that is littered throughout their squad, but also the cohesion and team spirit shown to pick up valuable points at Holyhead Hotspur, Rhyl and Denbigh Town could be crucial come the end of the campaign.

Another huge plus for the club is the return from injury of talisman Darren Thomas, who already looked back to his brilliant best in a superb display against Scott Ruscoe’s side.

His presence on the field and in the dressing room is a huge lift to players and supporters alike, and if they can keep him free of his recent problems and firing on all cylinders then it will go a long way to securing the title after they lost it last season to Prestatyn Town.

Quality sides such as Ruthin Town, Guilsfield, Airbus Broughton and Holywell Town will not make things easy for them, but they have been the standout performers in the league so far and it would be a huge shock if they were to fall in the final furlong.

Experienced figures such as Nathan Craig, Gareth Evans, Kevin Roberts and Jamie Breese are going to be relied upon heavily during the run-in, but Eardley deserves enormous credit for also trusting younger members of the squad which will stand them in extremely good stead going forward.

They still have to get there of course, but if they finally achieve their WPL goal then they are going to be a huge asset to the division, and on the evidence of recent performances against top flight sides the Cofis are more than capable of holding their own.