The Opposition – Notts County

Grimsby Town commence their Checkatrade Trophy 2018-19 campaign tonight when they welcome Notts County to Blundell Park (7.45pm).

Michael Jolley’s side will be hoping to bounce back from Saturday’s 1-0 Sky Bet League Two defeat to Yeovil Town.

But Harry Kewell takes charge of his first game as County boss, with the Magpies looking to get their first win of the season when they face the Mariners.

They picked up an opening-day draw against Colchester United before losing to Cambridge United, and were then defeated on penalties by Middlesbrough in the Carabao Cup.

Four successive defeats to Yeovil Town, Newport County, Lincoln City, and Forest Green Rovers then followed, as manager Kevin Nolan was relieved of his duties with the side bottom of League Two.

And now new boss Kewell is set to take charge of his first game as boss, after leaving his post as Crawley Town manager last week.

Transfer activity

The Magpies brought in a number of big-name players this summer as then-boss Nolan aimed to push on from their play-off semi-final finish last term.

County’s key signings are 25-year-old winger Enzio Boldewijn from Crawley Town, 35-year-old defensive-midfielder and ex-Wales international David Vaughan from Nottingham Forest, and 28-year-old prolific striker Kristian Dennis from Chesterfield.

The Magpies also brought in centre-forward Kane Hemmings from Oxford United, winger Andy Kellett from Wigan, forward Nathan Thomas on loan from Sheffield United, and centre-half Elliott Ward from Blackburn Rovers.

But there were also a number of notable departures from Meadow Lane this summer, with centre-midfielder Michael O’Connor joining Lincoln City, striker Jonathan Forte signing for Exeter City, and Shola Ameobi leaving the club.

Ones to watch

Despite the Magpies’ disappointing start to the season, they have arguably one of the strongest squads in League Two and will pose threats to the Mariners all over the pitch at Blundell Park.

Experienced striker Jon Stead arguably presents the Magpies’ biggest goal-threat to the Mariners tonight. Despite the Magpies’ difficult start to the season, the 35-year-old has scored three goals in six appearances in all competitions, and he will be looking to get on the scoresheet against Town tonight.

The 6ft2ins centre-forward, who signed from Huddersfield Town in 2015, has scored 35 goals in 129 league appearances for the Magpies.

Central-midfielder Noor Husin joined Notts County from Premier League outfit Crystal Palace in January, and has scored one goal in 17 league appearances for the Magpies since then.

The 21-year-old has made six appearances in all competitions this season, and he will be hoping to create attacks and opportunities for the Magpies tonight.

Winger Enzio Boldewijn joined for an undisclosed fee from Crawley this summer, and has scored one goal in six appearances for Notts County so far this season – in the Magpies’ 3-2 defeat to Cambridge United.

The 25-year-old scored 15 goals in 91 league appearances for Crawley – including 10 last season as they finished 14th in League Two – and he will be hoping to recapture that form for the Magpies this term.

Tickets are still available for tonight’s Checkatrade Trophy clash with Harry Kewell’s side as kids go free at Blundell Park.


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