There were celebrations as AFC Welwyn achieved promotion at the first time of asking.

Set-up last summer as the brainchild of Tawhid Juneja, taking over the spot left by Welwyn Garden City Res, the club had a lofty goal, namely seven promotions in 12 years to get them to the Football League.

But with a number of quality players recruited, they were able to tick off part one and finish five points clear of second-placed Bovingdon to clinch the Spartan South Midlands League Division Two title.

Promotion from step seven into the National League system, or pyramid, is always at the discretion of the FA but with the title secured and the standard of their ground, WGC's Pexhurst Stadium at Herns Lane, more than suitable, only the announcement of which division they would be in was waiting.

That has now arrived and as expected that they will play next season in Division One of the SSML.

Welwyn Hatfield Times: AFC Welwyn celebrate their SSML Division Two Cup success. Picture: CARLI PIRIEAFC Welwyn celebrate their SSML Division Two Cup success. Picture: CARLI PIRIE (Image: Carli Pirie)

Setting their goal out at the start of the season meant they were a target for some of the other, more established clubs in the division, and it piled the pressure on manager Richard James from the very first game.

But they got off to a great start, winning the opening two matches 8-1 and 6-1 and they remained unbeaten for several weeks, maintaining top spot until Christmas when they were two points clear.

Off the field it wasn't always as straight forward and there was a big turnover of players, as well as boss James stepping down to be replaced by Liam Errington.

They also departed two cup competitions via penalty shoot-outs and had to contend with pressure in the league from first Newport Pagnell Town Res, then Codicote and finally a late charge from Bovingdon.

They even had to survive having three points deducted but saw all that off to lift the trophy, former Welwyn Garden City and Stotfold defender, and AFC Welwyn captain Jack Bradshaw doing the honours.

But there was still one more moment of celebration to come as they reached the SSML Division Two Cup final.

That meant one final face-off against rivals Bovingdon and after a tough 90 minutes at London Lions' Rowley Lane ground, they came out on top with a 3-2 win, two goals coming from Kendall Ata Gyamfi and one for William McNeill.

Gyamfi, who counts Cheshunt and Hendon as former clubs, came out on top of AFC's scoring charts too, landing 27 in all competitions.

A spokesman for the club said: "We can be extremely happy with our start to life. A double from a brand new club will put a spring in the step in step six next year, and more signings can be expected in the close season.

"As well as this, there is a strong development team in place and the club plan’s for a ladies team and youth teams will keep the management busy in the summer."