IT was a case of being in the right place at the right time for Nathan Young-Coombes on Saturday afternoon as he helped Rangers to victory over Wrexham.

The same can be said of his career in general as the striker continues to improve and impress at Ibrox.

Young-Coombes is grateful for the opportunities he has and the help and advice he is receiving under the guidance of Graeme Murty and Peter Lovenkrands.

And it was the words of wisdom from the former Light Blues striker that allowed the 16-year-old to cap his first appearance at Ibrox with a goal on a memorable afternoon.

Rangers were already well on their way to a place in the Challenge Cup semi-finals after Jamie Barjonas had given them a first half advantage.

And when keeper Christian Dibble - the son of nine-in-a-row shot-stopper Andy - spilled a Barjonas drive from the edge of the area, the chance was there for Young-Coombes.

The forward showed his striking instincts to nip in and capitalise as he converted and made it 2-0 with 20 minutes remaining. The game was won and the insight that Lovenkrands had given his attacking protege had paid off.

“It was a good victory,” Young-Coombes said after Rangers joined Raith Rovers, Inverness and Partick Thistle in the last four. “You could see what their game plan was, to try to catch us on the counter.

“They were very frustrating and we needed to move the ball quickly, side to side, and look for little gaps which we could exploit.

“For my goal, Peter Lovenkrands and I had been going over his goals for Rangers, Newcastle and Birmingham on Thursday and Friday.

“We were honing in on how to get into the six yard box, being alive and picking up scraps because that’s where you get a lot of joy and today I was lucky enough to pick up on what we were speaking about at half time - getting in that box and get that goal.

“I had noticed when I was on the bench that the keeper spilled one and I was hoping to get on and be alive to that.

“Peter was telling me, any shots at the goalie, make sure I was following in. And I was lucky enough to get my goal today.

“We are always talking about how I can take my game to the next level. We were playing against a first team here and I’m only 16, so realistically I’m not going to bully them or outpace them.

“Don’t get me wrong, I’m very confident in my own ability, but it’s about how I can beat a defender who is bigger than me, stronger than me. I can do it by being alive in the box and that’s what happened.”

The goal capped a pleasing and impressive outing for Young-Coombes as he made the most of his chance to shine at Ibrox.

Boss Murty was without the services of Dapo Mebude through injury and it was Serge Atakayi that was given the nod to play through the middle for what was, once again, a youthful Gers line-up.

The experience of George Edmundson and Jon Flanagan - the pair dropping down from first team level to get much-needed match time under their belts - was important for the Colts.

But Murty was rightly proud of the way his young players handled the challenges - mentally, tactically and physically - against their National League visitors.

Young-Coombes was introduced up front after an injury to Nathan Patterson forced Murty into a reshuffle before the break.

And the former Chelsea kid relished the occasion in front of a crowd of more than 5,000 at Ibrox.

He said: “The atmosphere was everything I hoped it would be. I have been watching games from the stands, hoping to be on the pitch and it was a tremendous honour.

“I was expecting to get the last 10/15 minutes. I had to get into the zone and compose myself and make sure I made an impact. I just wanted to relish the occasion and get a goal.

“Allowing us to play at Ibrox was great and we always want to play at Ibrox.

“That’s why we play football, to play on the big occasions with big crowds and big atmosphere. That’s every little boy’s dream, to play in games like that.

“I came up here to eventually get first team football. All I can do is score. The managers are very good. They know where I am in my development.

“I am only 16, so getting Under-21 football against a first team like Wrexham, you’d think: ‘wow, hold on a second’. I have a lot of faith in what our coaches will do for me in the future.”

Victory over Wrexham was the latest eye-catching result that the Rangers kids have recorded in Tunnocks Caramel Wafer Cup this term.

Stranraer, Berwick, Ballymena and Solihull have also been seen off on their road to the last four.

It has been an eye-catching start to the campaign for Murty’s side but a silver lining would be a remarkable achievement if they could go all the way.

“Yes, we think so,” Young-Coombes said when asked if Rangers could win the competition this term. “There’s a real aura about the boys at the moment, from our Youth Champions League nights to playing in this tournament.

“Everyone’s buzzing and it pushes our training sessions on because everyone wants to start and they are disappointed when they don’t start, so when you do get on the park you want to prove you deserve to be in the starting 11.”