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Mutch to admire in Vale's new No.1

By Craig Christie

Grant Pennet, Robbie Mutch, Stevie Dolan, Deveronvale FC, Highland League
Grant Pennet, Robbie Mutch, Stevie Dolan, Deveronvale FC, Highland League

THERE'S been a reshuffle in the goalkeeping ranks at Deveronvale.

Vale have signed highly-rated former Aberdeen keeper Robbie Mutch on loan from Championship side Falkirk for the rest of the season.

Mutch will come straight into manager Stevie Dolan's team for Saturday's Banffshire derby clash at Turriff United, as regular keeper Grant Pennet is out with a hand injury sustained in a work accident.

Vale have also farmed out their second-choice goalie Errol Watson to SPFL side Elgin City for the remainder of the campaign.

New boy Mutch (20) was born in Elgin and brought up in Inverurie. He came through the youth ranks at Aberdeen where he was coached by Dons' legend Jim Leighton, playing for the Pittodrie club's under-17 and under-20 teams.

He joined current club Falkirk in the summer of 2017 and won the club's young player of the year award in his first season there.

Vale boss Dolan said: "I'm very pleased to get Robbie in for the remainder of the season. He's a very good young keeper with lots of potential.

"Grant Pennet's recent work injury is likely to keep him out for 4-5 weeks and it's important that we have adequate cover in a key position."

Mutch failed to make a first-team appearance for Aberdeen, but did make his senior football breakthrough when he was loaned out to Arbroath as an 18-year-old.

He made 14 appearances for the Gayfield outfit during the first half of the 2016-17 campaign, making his senior debut in a 1-1 Betfred Cup draw against Dundee United.

He returned to Pittodrie but was released by the Premiership side at the end of the term, making the switch to Falkirk.

In his first season at Falkirk he had three clean sheets in his first five appearances last season.

This term he played for the Bairns in their Betfred Cup win over Forfar Athletic and an Irn Bru Cup success over Rangers under-20s.

He was then farmed out to Dumbarton in League 1, where he played in two matches.

Mutch will be based in Aberdeen during his loan spell at Deveronvale.

Meanwhile, Watson has returned to Elgin to fill in as their second choice keeper, after the Borough Briggs club recently farmed out goalie Tom McHale to Weymouth.

Watson had a previous spell at City in League 2 but failed to make a first team appearance.

Vale's home match against Huntly last weekend was postponed, with the entire Highland League card wiped out due to the wintry conditions.

Mutch is scheduled to make his Highland League debut at The Haughs on Saturday when Vale take on neighbours Turriff, looking to complete a league double.

The last time the sides met at Princess Royal Park, Vale won 3-2 in September as goals by Lewis Dunbar and top scorer Robert Scott (2) earned the full points.

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