Road to recovery is over for Paton – now it’s time to kick on with Syngenta

Craig Paton celebrates his first goal. Pics Jamie Forbes
Craig Paton celebrates his first goal. Pics Jamie Forbes
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Craig Paton made his long awaited return to football last week – and played a star role off the bench for Syngenta.

The 17-year-old suffered a horrific leg break just over a year ago and underwent seven operations including to have a steel rod inserted into his leg then also developed compartment syndrome in post-op complications.

He turned in a second for Syngenta after coming on as a second half substitute. Pic Jamie Forbes

He turned in a second for Syngenta after coming on as a second half substitute. Pic Jamie Forbes

The midfielder needed skin grafts as part of his recovery which prompted Syngenta Juveniles to launch a benevolent fund for young footballers who are struck down by injury. The club held a fundraising ‘Break A Leg’ entertainment night in the MacDonald Inchyra hotel and a glamour match between the club and Dukla Pumpherston at Falkirk Stadium to raise further cash.

But all that was in the past when Paton made his 60th minute appearance off the bench in this emphatic Syngenta victory.

He and his under-17s team-mates travelled to Kirkintilloch for their second round Janice Morton Memorial Cup tie against B Division Rosebank and after going 1-0 down through an error comfortably sealed their passage into the third round.

A few classic Paton passes were back on show, and one sublime backheel saw him back into action with a couple of strong aggressive runs too.

Syngenta 2001s ran out 14-2 winners. Pic by Jamie Forbes

Syngenta 2001s ran out 14-2 winners. Pic by Jamie Forbes

In a hard match for Syngenta they fell behind early on and only held a two-goal lead at half-time. The interval was key as they knocked in another ten goals without reply and paved the way for Paton’s return.

The tempo was difficult to get right in a game that was always likely to see a win but great performances around with special note for Fraser Dawson, who nabbed seven goals, Jamie Forrester a hat-trick and Eck Adams and Mark Smith also on the score sheet.

Next up is Bellshill Athletic in league action on Saturday, February 10 at Little Kerse.

Paton broke his leg last January and had seven operations, comprtment syndrome and skin grafts but made his return. Picture Michael Gillen.

Paton broke his leg last January and had seven operations, comprtment syndrome and skin grafts but made his return. Picture Michael Gillen.