WREXHAM goalkeeper Matt Baker is hoping lightning won't strike twice when the Dragons meet his former club Hereford United in cup combat net month.
Saturday's draw for the LDV Vans Trophy northern semi-final has thrown up a repeat of the FA Cup first round clash between the teams three years ago when Baker - then between the posts for the non-league outfit - played a key role in Wrexham's 1-0 defeat at Edgar Street.
It was the keeper's outstanding performance that day which first alerted Racecourse boss Denis Smith to his potential and when Baker was out of contract last summer, the England semi-pro international had no hesitation in making the switch to league football.
This time round, the 24-year-old could find himself in the firing line as his former teammates bid to become the first Nationwide Conference team to reach the last four of the competition and Baker yesterday revealed the banter has already begun.
Immediately after Wrexham's quarter-final victory at Chester on Tuesday, he received a telephone call from Hereford's Jamie Pitman, who scored in his side's 2-1 win over Blackpool.
"We're really close mates and he rang me to say that we'd definitely be drawn against each other in the next round," said Baker.
"Jamie said it was a cast-iron certainty and he obviously knew more than me because that's how it has turned out.
"He reckons he's going to score again when we go down there but I've told him that what happened a couple of years ago is unlikely to be repeated."
Baker said the draw - which sees Tranmere Rovers and Oldham Athletic meet in the other semi-final - was the one Wrexham would have wanted, despite being drawn away.
"If we'd had a choice, we would have picked Hereford and we've got to be confident of getting the result against them," he added.
"That's not to say it's going to be easy because everyone knows what can happen and it's a one-off game, so we'll have to go there with the right attitude.
"What we don't want to see happening is a repeat of the last time Wrexham went to Hereford because they did virtually everything right on the day except that they could not score a goal."
Baker, whose place in the Dragons line-up has not been challenged since Andy Dibble injured his hand in September, will be desperately keen to face his former colleagues but he knows that the experienced veteran is now close to full fitness.
"I think I've done reasonably well since I've come into the team and with Andy back in contention it's down to me to keep it going for the next few weeks," he said..
"Competition for places is always a good thing and knowing Andy is waiting in the wings will keep me on my toes."
With the Hereford match more than a month away, Wrexham's immediate League One priority is to make inroads into the 10-point penalty they received following Friday's administration, and Baker said tomorrow's home match with Stockport County and Saturday's trip to MK Dons could not have been better timed.
"They are the clubs immediately below us in the revised table and we could give ourselves a huge boost and take a huge chunk out of that 10 points if we can win both matches," he added.
"Six points could lift us out of the bottom three in the first week and that would give everyone a lift.
"But we can't afford to be at all complacent because both Stockport and MK Dons are fighting to stay up as well.
"Stockport haven't appointed a new manager yet, to my knowledge, so they could well be looking to put on a performance.
"On the other hand, while we know we'll have to work hard to get something from both games, this time last week we were in 16th place so we were obviously doing something right.
"If we carry on in the same vein and continue to believe that we can overcome the handicap put upon us, I'm sure we won't have a problem in staying up."