Clubs Hastings Western Rangers Premiers might have been spurred on by comments from Versatile Wanganui City FC co-coach Anthony Bell mid-week.

Bell spoke to the Chronicle in the lead-up to his side's Lotto Federation Cup 2019 quarter-final clash with Rangers at Wembley Park on Saturday.

It was not that Bell disrespected Rangers, he simply pointed out that they were struggling in their Pacific League.

Rangers had managed to win only one out of 11 matches, drawing two and losing eight, with just 12 goals scored while opposition teams had netted 40 against them.


Despite their record, Bell said they would not take Rangers lightly, and rightly so as Rangers came out firing when the contest kicked off at 2pm.

"The first half was something to forget. We could have probably gone 3-0 up after about 10 minutes, but missed chances in front of goal," Bell said.

"They came out and pressed us pretty hard in that first half and managed to sneak a goal in, so we were 1-0 down at halftime."

Not only were chances at goal going begging, but City failed to maintain possession on a Wembley pitch that had been closed earlier in the week due to rain.

Bell was watching the contest from the sideline after breaking his leg in a sickening collision with a goalkeeper in a Federation League match almost a month ago.

He said he had a big chat with his team at halftime.

"There were 45 minutes left, we were 1-0 down and needed to step up. It was a quarter final so we came out in that second half and started playing a lot better.

"We kept the ball, we were patient and we opened it up. We created a lot more chances."


City made some substitutions at the half, instilling faith in their young reserves with other senior players Adam Gill and Zane Robinson out injured.

One of those players was high-schooler Kyle Thomas, who replaced Dan Aplin and made an impact, tearing down the right wing.

Thomas burst past a Rangers defender and streaking towards the byline, he sent a cross into the box that found Max Davidson who tapped it in to score.

Rangers came back at City, putting them under pressure for about 10 minutes, but they did not score and the score remained even approaching the 80 minute mark.

Step up Kyle Graham-Luke, the midfielder carrying an injury.

Graham-Luke made a run from halfway, veering to the left and City worked the ball up to him from deep in their half.

The ball landed near his feet at the edge of the box, Graham-Luke dribbled it past a defender, launched a shot from outside the box and in it went.

The Rangers keeper was beaten and City led 2-1.

With little time to play, City shut up shop and focused on maintaining possession until the final whistle.

City will now face play Gisborne, Hokowhitu or Massey in the semifinals, which will be drawn on Tuesday.

"We managed to get the job done. It wasn't pretty, but we're in the semifinal now," Bell said.

"The boys are really pumped. It's our only chance of getting silverware this year and that was our goal at the start of the season. We're still alive."