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.
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.
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.