WHILE their shock JD Welsh Cup defeat to Ruthin Town will no doubt hurt, in the grand scheme of things it might end up being a good thing for Prestatyn Town.
A good cup run can bring in some much-needed funds for the Seasiders, but remaining in the JD Welsh Premier League is the main priority and has been from the outset of the season.
Neil Gibson’s side have coped admirably with the rigours of top flight football since returning to the division after running away with the Huws Gray Alliance last term, but there is plenty of stiff competition this year and they know things have to get better quickly to ensure they move out of the drop zone.
Being in the bottom two may not mean a great deal at this stage of the campaign, but it can begin to become a burden if you are unable to get out of it for a prolonged period of time, even though it is extremely tight with just five points separating Town and seventh placed Llandudno.
They have shown glimpses of what they are capable of and they have experienced figures that can see them through difficult times, but they must now start picking up points to match their encouraging performances and they can only do that if they start becoming more resolute at the back.
It may sound simple, but it is one of the hardest things to do on a football field, but the statistics speak for themselves; their 20 goals scored ranks fourth in the league behind only The New Saints of Oswestry Town, Cardiff Met and Bangor City, who occupy the top three places.
This should undoubtedly have brought more points and they have done well to ensure that they have not significantly missed the talents of last season’s top scorer Jordan Davies, but at the other end shipping an average of two goals a game is just not good enough and their frailties were once again evident against a fearless Ruthin side who have a prolific marksman of their own in Llyr Morris.
The likes of Reece Fairhurst have the quality to cope with some of the most talented forwards operating in the Welsh pyramid, but they are finding out to their cost that you cannot switch off for even a second without being punished against higher quality finishers than they saw last season.
Their next three games are going to tell us a lot about where they are heading as a team, and there is no reason why they cannot pick up points from games against Cefn Druids, Aberystwyth Town and Barry Town United in the coming weeks to ease their relegation worries.
Everybody loves a cup run and the Town faithful are no different, but it is a result they do no want to dwell on for too long with much bigger implications at stake.
It took a huge collective effort to get the Seasiders back in the WPL, and they will want to ensure this hard work is not squandered after just one season.