Although the Celts slipped to a narrow 2-0 defeat at Scunthorpe United on Boxing Day, Clayton Donaldson is relishing the challenge of entertaining the league leaders at The Citadel tomorrow.

“We can take confidence from Boxing Day, they are a really good side and we went there with a game plan, which nearly worked,” Clayton said. “We had a goal disallowed and hit the post and we felt we were unlucky in the first half. We nullified their chances.

“Second half we gave a disappointing first goal away and the difference in fitness started to tell second half but I was happy with the performance, we gave it our all and a lot of teams go there and struggle massively. We’re looking forward to the game and we’re upbeat

“Tomorrow will be a totally different game to Boxing Day. They’re coming to a tight ground, the pitch will be heavy after all the rain we have been having, so they will struggle to play decent football on it. Of course we will be out to make life difficult for them and take all three points.

“We can take a lot of confidence from the Boxing Day game and we’ve seen some things we feel we can take advantage of. We were on an eight-match unbeaten league run and playing well and we want to get another run going.

“We know it’ll be a difficult game as they’re a good side. They have a National League set up, you only have to look at the players they have on the bench to tell that, but we can take confidence from our own form and know we are capabler of taking all three points.”

Skipper Chris Atkinson. Photo: John McEvoy

Clayton also paid tribute to skipper Chris Atkinson, who will make his 300th appearance for the club tomorrow, if selected.

“300 games for one club is a great achievement and I am pleased for Chris,” Clayton said. “He is a great leader and always gives 100 per cent in everything does. He sets a great example for the rest of the lads and I hope Chris reaching this milestone inspires some of his teammates.

“I am happy for him and hopefully it will help spur him and the lads on to get three points tomorrow. We’re all looking forward to the game.”

Kick-off time

The match kicks off at The Citadel at 3pm. Supporters are urged to get to the ground as early as possible as we are expected a large crowd.

Ticket news & parking

The match is all ticket and there will be no cash or card admission on the day. Tickets can be bought up until 3pm by following this link. We ask fans to respect our neighbours when parking and are encouraging supporters to make use of the 300 free parking spaces at Pudsey Civic Hall for this match.

Team news

The Celts will be without midfielder Ryan Watson, who starts a three-match ban. Darren Stephenson and Jack Leckie are both still out injured and Lewis Turner is about to step up to full training following long-term injury.

How are Scunthorpe faring?

Scunthorpe sit top of National League North on goal difference over Tamworth. They have won six out of their last seven league games and were held to a goalless draw at Buxton last Saturday.
The Irons are the division’s top scorers on 51 goals. Their recent run of good form comes after the future of the club, and their Glanford Park home, was secured following a period of financial uncertainty. Daniel Whitehall is their leading scorer, with 14 goals in 24 league games.

Last time we met at The Citadel

This will be our first competitive home match against Scunthorpe.

The side last met at The Citadel in August 2022 a for a pre-season friendly which ended in a 5-1 win for the visitors – a scoreline that didn’t really reflect the game.

Matchday drink

The clubhouse will be open as usual, with home and away supporters welcome. It will be serving a range of alcoholic and soft drinks. Cash and card will be accepted.

Can bars will also be in operation at our sports hall and inside the ground, but will be by cash payments only.
Hot drinks, including tea, coffee and hot chocolate, can be bought in the ground.

Matchday food

We have an array of hot and cold food and drinks available. Pies and peas will be available in the sports hall for cash only and the usual fare, including pies, peas and chips and loaded fries will be available in the ground, where cash ands card payments can be made.

Matchday programme

Our match day programme includes an exclusive interview with gaffer Clayton Donaldson and skipper Chris Atkinson, while Rob WInterbottom brings you the latest from the board. We’ve also got the latest from our women’s side, plus all the latest stats – and lots more! Programmes are priced just £3.