SOLENT Stars are taking drastic action to lay the ghost of last Saturday's abysmal 105-72 home defeat by Reading Rockets.

The performance was dubbed "embarrassing" by red-faced club captain Mark Jackson - and he was not the only one to go home disappointed.

Club owner Bob Paulley was so appalled that he immediately activated plans to get two new players on board to help avoid a repeat performance against Worthing Thunder at Fleming Park tonight.

Definitely on view will be 6ft 5in Mark Vingoe, a player introduced to the club by assistant coach Steve Fitzsimons.

A PE student at university in Chichester, Vingo played for Worthing last year but started his career under ex-England coach David Titmuss at Ware.

The other new arrival is an American Howard Jackson, who was yesterday granted a work permit and flew in to this country.

Jackson is a 6ft 4in, 245lb forward from the University of North Colorado, who has been playing for Killester in Ireland since the start of the season.

He comes highly recommended as a court motivator - a quality sadly lacking in Solent's recent run of defeats.

Stars are also tracking a 6ft 9in overseas player who will become available in the new year and Paulley declared: "We now need the fans to get behind us in numbers to help pay for these expensive imports."

Damond Gregory, Stars' original American target, will not be joining the club.

The former University of Iowa student had problems producing statistics for work permit purposes and did not sufficiently impress coach Mark Scott in practice.

Director Jim Rumsey, pictured, said: "He's not a natural mover on court and he's not 6ft 10in tall as we were told, but the main problem was the work permit. As he's already over here, we're trying to help him by circulating his name around other clubs."

Sean Hampton, a prolific former Worthing scorer named NBL player-of-the-year two seasons ago, was another possibility for Solent. But having been cut from his last team in Luxembourg, he was given a plane ticket back to his native America.

Stars are under no illusion about the size of their task tonight having already been beaten twice by National Trophy finalists Worthing, who lie five places above them in third in the National Conference.

Ex-Solent man Nic O'Harabe, features regularly in their high-scorers' list and Stars will be without their own top points-getter, David Butterworth, who is still sidelined with ankle problems.

Solent, though, were taught a harsh lesson last Saturday and the players have resolved to learn from it.

Skipper Jackson revealed: "We were embarrassed by our performance against Reading. After the coach had finished with us, the players had a get-together to find out how we could best help one another.

"I hope it works."