Both the 1sts teams of Whanganui's main football clubs are determined to put the heartache of their razor-close Cup day defeats behind them as the intensity of their league competitions heats up this afternoon.

For Big Orange Wanganui City 1sts, the opportunity is here to make a definitive statement in the Horizons Premiership, as something has to give against fellow undefeated squad Hokowhitu FC Rangers at Wembley Park.

Coach Kelvin Francis has spent this week's two training sessions trying to put the gutting 6-5 loss to Western Rangers in the Lotto Federation Cup in the rear view mirror, as today's game offers up a chance to pull a full three points ahead of the nearest of the other nine teams - making them all chase for the rest of the campaign.

"We reminded them of that, and we chatted about a few mistakes we made [last week].


"We chatted about what created a hole in the backline that led to the yellow cards we got.

"Either team wants to gain the ascendancy, that puts themselves a game ahead of the opposition - that's gold for us."

Both teams have five wins, while City hold a massive points differential advantage of 13 goals over Hokowhitu, although Francis was unwilling to use that as the metric for assuming which squad should start as favourites.

"You can be a champion one week and a chump the next.

"They're going to be tough, mate, there's no doubt about it."

The sides last met in 2015, with City holding on for 1-0 victories in both the home and away clashes.

Hokowhitu have strengthened their lineup with Central league-level defenders, and have experience on their side from the likes of David Boyack.

Phillip King was telegraphed five of his team's 22 goals in the Premiership, while Nicholas Carrick has four.

They have wracked up wins over the GVCA Wanganui Athletic Reserves (6-1), Marist Development, Levin AFC (2-1), Breakers RSM Rovers (8-2), Palmerston North Boys High (2-1), and Massey Celtic (4-0).

For City, Josh Jonas is on stand-down for his indiscretions against Western Rangers, while Adrian Ngaau and Eli Fleming have both assured Francis they're ready to play, but the coach will wait until an assessment on their knee injuries this morning.

Like his team, Anthony Bell will want to continue to have a break on the rest of the Premiership when it comes to the goal scorers list, currently sitting on eight.

Kickoff on Wembley No1 is 2.45pm.

Coming into their last game of the first round in the seven team Lotto Men's Federation League, Devon Homes Wanganui Athletic need to lock in three points, as they face an equally desperate Ricoh PN Marist at Ashurst Domain.

Coach Jason King watched a team still trying to will their sore limbs into movement at training on Tuesday, after the extraordinary effort in their 4-3 extra time loss to the New Plymouth Rangers, with their Team Taranaki recruits, in the Chatham Cup.

Heavy rain on Thursday also forced the squad to train indoors.

"The lads knew they had been in a fight, and we were happy with how they performed."

Sitting second on the table behind leaders AFC Havelock North, who take the bye this weekend, and third-placed New Plymouth, who have a game in hand, Athletic want to wrap up a solid first round where they know they have surprised a few squads after being 2016's whipping boys.

"[Second round]'s when the real work begins, because that's when teams have seen us."

Kelvin Hove has been cleared to play, but King has decided to rest him given the big trip to face Havelock North next weekend takes priority.

Some good news is the return of Quinn Mailman, who has been cleared after suffering concussion in the April 15 away loss to New Plymouth, and is eager to regain his spot.

King said Mailman, who always delivers, will come off the bench late in the match to ease himself back into proceedings.

"[Marist] got a lot to play for as well."

Fourth on the table with one victory from four games, Marist could call on some Central League-calibre talent from their 1sts team if required, and will be targeting the scalp of one of the 2017's big three teams if they are to break away from the rest of the bottom four.

Playing at Ashurst means for the first time, King can watch both of his teams in action, as the Athletic Reserves have drawn Breakers RSM Rovers for the early afternoon game at Skoglund Park, 15 minutes drive away, with kickoff 12.30pm.

"It will be nice to be there first hand. Do a bit of yelling as well," King said.

Breakers have a 2-2 record and could be a good target for the Reserves (1-1-3) to get an upset and a real confidence boost against.