WITH memories of their FA Cup exit against Bracknell still fresh in their minds, Basingstoke Town will be hoping lightning does not strike twice as they face Whitchurch United tomorrow at the Camrose.

The clubs clash in the Hampshire Senior Cup, a competition in which Town are past winners. They have, however, fallen to Wessex League opposition in the shape of Andover in each of the last two seasons.

Ironically, on Tuesday night Andover were at Longmeadow in a league fixture and beat Whitchurch 4-0.

Having already felt the minnows bite, Town manager Ernie Howe is set to field a strong side tomorrow with injured duo Jason Bristow and David Ray both rested, while the Stamp brothers, Neville and Nathan, are unavailable.

Central defender Bristow has been playing with a knee injury while Ray has an ankle problem. This means Ricky Allaway and Ian Dickens will come into the Town line-up.

Howe said: "After our win against Braintree, it is now important to get a run of results going and we will not be taking this game lightly as we all know what can happen when we played Bracknell."

His opposite number at Whitchurch, Derek Smalley, has a major injury crisis with Jason Dinham, Dean Austin, Graham Huddlestone, Paul Oddy and Shaun May all missing from his line-up.

Smalley hopes Chris Iddles has recovered from the flu which forced him out after 35 minutes of the 2-1 defeat against Alton last Saturday after he had scored the Whitchurch goal.

James Hemmings, brother of Town's central defender Steve Hemmings, returned to the line-up in that game. Neil Butler, from Andover, made his debut and hit the side-netting late on from an Andy Hackett pass.

Smalley said: "We will go there to enjoy the day and see what happens. This season we have played well in the cup competitions.

He added: "It is also nice to get a draw like this in our centen-ary year."

His son goalkeeper David Smalley - a former Town Reserve player - could well have a busy afternoon but will be up to the challenge, while mid-fielder Gary Stockwell is at present the pick of the Whitchurch outfield players.

Last Saturday, Whitchurch Reserves had a good day in the North Hants League, beating local rivals Tadley Reserves 4-1 with Andy Kitson netting a hat-trick and Stuart Hindmarsh the other goal.