Notts County and Grimsby Town will meet in the National League promotion playoffs on Monday evening, with the two sides battling for a position in the semi-finals.
Grimsby finished sixth in the regular National League campaign, boasting 77 points from their 44 matches, while Notts County were fifth, five points above their opponents in this contest.
Notts County have spent the last three seasons in the National League following their relegation from League Two at the end of 2018-19; they were a League One outfit as recent as 2015, but it has been a tough few years for the club, who will be desperate to secure a return to the Football League.
The Magpies enjoyed a solid 2021-22 campaign in the National League, winning 24, drawing 10 and losing 10 of their 44 matches to collect 82 points, which was enough for fifth spot in the table.
Ian Burchnall’s side will enter this match in impressive form, having won six of their last seven matches, suffering just one defeat in the process, including their last three of the regular season against Dover Athletic, Altrincham and Maidenhead United.
Notts County are in the quarter-finals of the playoffs alongside Grimsby, Halifax Town and Chesterfield, with the four teams bidding to advance to the semi-finals, where Wrexham and Solihull Moors are waiting.
The Nottingham outfit beat Grimsby 1-0 in North East Lincolnshire earlier this season but suffered a 2-1 defeat when the pair locked horns at Meadow Lane in February.
Grimsby dropped out of the Football League last season courtesy of finishing 24th in League Two, but they are in a position to challenge for promotion back to the fourth tier of English football.
The Mariners won 23, drew eight and lost 13 of their 44 National League games in 2021-22 to collect 77 points, which left them in sixth spot in the table, one point ahead of seventh-place Chesterfield and four clear of Dagenham & Redbridge in eighth.
Paul Hurst’s side played out a pulsating 4-4 draw with Eastleigh in their last match on May 15, but they have only won one of their last four games, so Notts County will enter this game in the stronger form.
Grimsby had a mixed record on their travels during the National League campaign, meanwhile, winning eight, drawing six and losing eight of their 22 matches to collect 30 points.
Notts County, though, had the third-best home record in the league in 2021-22, winning 15, drawing five and losing just two of their 22 games to collect 50 points.
Notts County National League form:
Grimsby Town National League form:
We say: Notts County 2-1 Grimsby Town
This has all of the makings of a brilliant game, and both sides will fancy their chances of progressing. It would not be a surprise to see an away victory here, but Notts County have so much quality in the final third of the field, and we are backing Burchnall’s side to edge a close contest to advance to the semi-finals.