FORMER England under-21 international goalkeeper Scott Loach will make his York City debut at Dagenham & Redbridge on Saturday following his loan move from Notts County.

Loach, 28, will be replace Kyle Letheren at Victoria Road with the latter still feeling discomfort from the back spasms that saw him replaced by Luke Simpson midway through the second half of Tuesday night’s 5-3 home victory over Southport.

City chief Gary Mills acted quickly to recruit Loach before today’s 5pm deadline, as he decided against risking 22-year-old Simpson in Essex with nine games left in arguably the most critical run-in during the club’s 95-year history.

Loach has 197 Championship appearances under his belt for Watford, Ipswich and Rotherham, and worked under Brendan Rodgers at Vicarage Road.

He also played for Stuart Pearce’s Three Lions in the 2009 European Under-21 Championship final against Germany in Sweden, when first-choice Joe Hart was suspended.

England, who also boasted the likes of Theo Walcott and James Milner, lost 4-0 to a German side, featuring Manuel Neuer, Mezut Ozil, Mats Hummels and Sami Khedira.

Loach went on to succeed Hart following the latter’s promotion to the senior ranks and won 14 caps at U21 level, as well as enjoying two call-ups to the senior squad following withdrawals by Paul Robinson, Ben Foster and Scott Carson.

In contrast, Simpson has only a dozen senior appearances to his name and Mills said: “I didn’t think I’d be able to get Scott in, but fortunately enough we’ve managed to do it.

“I had no plans before Tuesday night to bring in a keeper, but I was making calls and leaving messages at midnight after the game and then from 7am the next morning. The first call was no, the second call was maybe and the third call was yes.

“Scott’s found himself on the bench at Notts County and, when we spoke to him, he wanted to come straight away because he wants to play. He knows the situation we are in and I didn’t want a young keeper.

“He will know what dressing rooms are all about and will probably have experienced something like our situation in the past. Kyle’s back is sore, so Scott will play and, whilst I expect Luke to be disappointed, it’s about me doing my job and making the right decision, which I feel I have done.

“Everybody has to accept what I do and, if not, they don’t hang around. It’s a part of football and part of his growing up, but I’ve been able to get hold of a very, very good keeper with great experience.”

Loach has played seven games as second-choice to Adam Collin this season for County, who have recently clawed themselves away from the Football League drop zone.

The Nottingham-born net-minder, who will not be eligible for the FA Trophy final, was also a member of the Rotherham squad that staved off the threat of relegation from the Championship in 2014/15, with Mills admitting he will have a tough decision to make when The Press Player of the Year leader Letheren is expected to be available for Tuesday’s trip to Macclesfield.

“Kyle could be OK for Tuesday and, then, I’ll have a decision to make,” Mils confessed. “Scott’s still at an age where he’s got lots of years left in his career and I believe his contract is up at Notts County in the summer, so he’ll want to show people here and, maybe elsewhere, what’s he’s all about, because it’s difficult for keepers.

“There’s loads of them about, but there’s only one regular place at every club and they have to show they can establish themselves as a number one somewhere.”