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Deveronvale captain Harry Noble celebrates birth of his first son with goalscoring burst but stunning Lossiemouth strike can’t give interim manager Grant Noble a winning start

By Craig Christie

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NEW dad Harry Noble couldn’t quite land a victory for namesake Grant in his first game as Deveronvale interim manager on Saturday.

Harry Noble is aiming to bring former club Buckie down this weekend. Picture: Beth Taylor
Harry Noble is aiming to bring former club Buckie down this weekend. Picture: Beth Taylor

Vale skipper Harry has been in good scoring form since the birth of his son Cole a month ago, netting three times in his last four outings including a stunning free kick at former club Lossiemouth on Saturday.

Yet despite leading 3-1 going into the 89th minute, the Banff visitors conceded twice at the death and trooped home with just a point to show for their efforts.

With current player Grant Noble put in caretaker charge, following Craig Stewart’s resignation after the 3-0 defeat at home to Strathspey Thistle last week, it looked like being a winning start for the new man.

“If you’re 3-1 down and score two at the end, a draw is fantastic but to be winning at that stage and not seeing it out, you can imagine there were a lot of disappointed boys in the changing room,” Harry admitted.

Teenager Jack Mitchell’s seventh goal of the season broke the deadlock for Vale at Grant Park, and after Brandon Hutcheson equalised, Noble fired home his own sixth of the campaign with a superb setpiece strike just before half time.

“There was a bit of wind and it was right out wide, quite a tight angle,” he said. “It was one of those where you shoot but you hope that someone gets a flick to it but it ended up going straight in.

“It looked good, not one of those where I was firing it with 100 per cent power, you just want to put it in the right area. I scored against Lossie at the start of the season as well and I’m pleased to be getting a few this season.

“I only scored two last season so I wanted to get more and I’m finally doing it.”

Max Stewart put an injury-hit season behind him by netting his first of the campaign to make it 3-1 to Vale with 20 minutes left.

When it stayed that way for a long spell, it looked like being a good day for the visitors until strikes by Dean Stewart on 90 minutes and Connor Macaulay deep into time added on snatched a point for the Coasters.

Noble was saddened by Craig Stewart’s departure but believes his replacement, assisted by former fans’ favourite Graeme Watt as a first team coach, can help the team finish this season on a high.

“They are two good lads, everyone knows Granty anyway and I’m probably the only one who played when Wattie was still here, so hopefully they can get us going again.

“Craig has been there at the club since I first came to Vale. It’s never good to see anyone go but especially when it’s someone I’ve worked with for so many years.

“We’ve got a young team and it’s going to take time to get going but we were looking to be doing a lot better this season and it just hasn’t worked out.

“With a new manager you want to have a good start. After last week, I don’t mean to be disrespectful to Strathspey but you shouldn’t be losing 3-0 at home to the team at the bottom of the league. We wanted to make up for that by winning at Lossiemouth but we’ll just have to take the point and move on.”

Next up for Vale is a home derby clash with Buckie Thistle, who fought back from 2-0 down to defeat their neighbours in a recent Aberdeenshire Cup meeting between the sides.

“We can take confidence from running them close in that game,” Harry said.

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