DENBIGH Town have emerged as genuine title challengers in the Huws Gray Alliance after a hugely impressive run that has surged them into the upper reaches of the standings.

At the beginning of 2018, Eddie Maurice-Jones' charges find themselves in fifth spot, seven points adrift of leaders Caernarfon Town, but with a game in hand.

It proved to be a mixed 2017 for Denbigh, who ended last season in 10th spot.

They won 10 of their 30 league matches, but a real highlight came when they defeated runaway league champions Prestatyn Town.

And the triumph came at Prestatyn's Motion Finance Stadium, with Denbigh running out 3-1 winners at the end of February to end their hosts' unbeaten run in the league.

Within touching distance of claiming the title, Prestatyn were finally beaten in their 24th match of the campaign and Denbigh fully deserved their victory.

On 17 minutes, Andrew Swarbrick was put through by a long ball from the midfield and he rounded the Prestatyn keeper to calmly slot the ball into the net.

Then, on 39 minutes, a ball from Liam Smith set Alan Bull through.

He controlled the ball well to fire home and put Denbigh 2-0 up at the interval.

Despite Prestatyn pressure, Denbigh went 3-0 ahead on the hour.

Alan Bull crossed for Swarbrick, who dummied a defender and this left Craig Pritchard free to fire in from 12 yards.

There was a tricky start to the current campaign for Denbigh, with three defeats in their first four league matches, including a 7-0 hammering at Prestatyn.

Town responded in brilliant fashion and they won nine out of their next 10 league games to climb up to a lofty second in the table.

Denbigh hit the headlines once again in November with an outstanding 3-1 win over Airbus UK Broughton, who are looking for a swift return to the Welsh Premier League.

Even better was to follow in their first game during December, with victory in a topsy-turvy clash at Rhyl.

Goals from Josh Davies and Warren Duckett had Denbigh in control late in the first half, but Rhyl responded and two goals from Mark Connolly levelled things up by the time the half-time whistle was sounded.

Phil Marsh made it 3-2 to Rhyl, while a thunderbolt volley from Kristian Pierce made it three-apiece.

Late goals from Joe Culshaw and Josh Davies then sealed a brilliant 5-3 success for Town.