Notts County travel to North East Lincolnshire to face current front runners Grimsby Town, where the Magpies will be looking to cement their return to the Vanarama National League play-off places.
Notts come into this game off the back of a draw this past Tuesday evening against Bromley. In this game, a moment of magic gave from club captain Kyle Cameron gave Notts County the lead early in the second half. A move which saw the ravens unable to touch the ball following the restart was finished off perfectly by a curled finish into the bottom corner. However, despite controlling large parts of the second half, Bromley equalised through the reliable Michael Cheek, which ensured they didn’t leave Nottingham empty handed in the end.
Although many of the Notts faithful believe that the result of the game should’ve been considered as two points dropped, there were several positives that Ian Burchnall’s side can take into tomorrow’s big game. The biggest positive of all being the fact the club are still unbeaten when Kyle Cameron has been present. The centre-half joined Notts County in the summer from Torquay United and has rapidly become a fans favourite. Cameron has missed three games through a short-term injury this season, all three in which ended in defeat for his side. Whilst Cameron has been present, Notts County have played eleven times, where they’ve won six and drew five. In these games, the Magpies have scored twenty times whilst keeping four clean sheets in the process. As shown, the importance of the defender doesn’t go unnoticed. In a game as big as Saturday’s, it is essential to ensure the most important players are match fit and ready to play. For me, there is not one who surpasses Kyle Cameron when it comes to importance and therefore his presence at Blundell Park this weekend comes as a real positive for Notts County, as they look to leave with three points as well as increase their current unbeaten run.
The only absentee for the Magpies prior to tomorrow’s game is Lewis Knight. The forward returned from a lengthy period on the side-lines against Woking. Unfortunately for Knight, his return lasted all of ten minutes before he pulled up injured once again, which has seen him reintroduced to another lengthy spell away from the team. However, as this is the only injury currently within the squad, picking an eleven that suits this game is undoubtedly going to be difficult for Ian Burchnall. Cal Roberts has begun both of the Magpies’ last league fixtures as a substitute. Could the winger regain his place in the starting eleven or will Frank Vincent retain his as the midfielder continues to produce a sequence of impressive performances?
As for Grimsby Town, the Mariners come into tomorrow’s game off the back of a surprising defeat to Wealdstone this past Tuesday evening. A goal on the half an hour mark from Matt Buse turned out to be the winners as Paul Hurst’s side fell to a 1-0 defeat. Despite defeat, Grimsby remain top of the Vanarama National League following an impressive opening to the season. During their impressive start, the Mariners have won nine times, drew twice whilst only being defeated twice. Along the way in this impressive start, Grimsby Town have
defeated big spending Wrexham AFC as well as Torquay United away from home. They’ve also netted a combined total of ten in games against Barnet and Dover Athletic.
The club’s current top goal scorer, John McAtee, is a major doubt for Paul Hurst’s side for this weekend’s fixture. The attacker was withdrawn from the field of play in the fiftieth minute in Tuesday night’s game against Wealdstone. The club confirmed that the dangerman will undergo a scan prior to the game against Notts County, all but confirming his absence from the matchday squad. Although this is seen as a major blow for Grimsby Town, it’ll undoubtedly be seen as a major bonus by Notts County.
However, the Mariners are not short of goal scorers. In fact, excluding John McAtee, Grimsby Town have had ten different players find the back of the net throughout previous league fixtures this season. Harry Clifton has netted three times, including the late winner away to Woking, the same late winner that is to thank for the retention of their top spot following defeat to Wealdstone. As proven, the absence of John McAtee may not prove to be as big of a problem as it is expected to be for Hurst’s side tomorrow afternoon.
So, what can you expect from this game?
For me, the game of the season so far. With the home stands being completely sold out and Notts County travelling with over one thousand supporters, the expected atmosphere should be nothing short of top quality. As this is the case, I fully expect the quality around the stands to be reciprocated on the pitch as two favourites to return to the Sky Bet League Two go toe-to-toe for three points that could be season defining come May. Two highly rated managers for the fifth tier of English Football instructing two very good side that could comfortably compete above equates to a game that shouldn’t disappoint. Although absence of star man John McAtee could not be so costly, I see the creativity of the Grimsby Town side decreasing due to it. However, being current league leaders, you simply can never doubt the Mariners. For me, the Notts County side possesses more quality than what the Grimsby Town side has, despite the league table suggesting otherwise.
In a game very difficult to call, my personal score prediction is Grimsby Town 1-2 Notts County.
- Grimsby Town: WWWWL
- Notts County: LLWWD
- Grimsby Town: McKeown, Crookes, Waterfall, Sears, Fox, Sousa, Coke, McAtee, Towler John-Lewis, Bapaga.
- Notts County: Patterson, Taylor, Rawlinson, Cameron, Brindley, Kelly-Evans, O’Brien, Palmer, Vincent, Rodrigues, Wootton.
Venue & time:
- Blundell Park, 3pm Saturday 30th October 2021.
*Article provided by K-Ci Rennicks (Notts County Correspondent).
*Main image @officialgtfc the home of Grimsby Town who have been in excellent form this season.