Date:Sunday August 19 2012
Saturday 18th August 2012 @3pm Kick-Off
Burnley got their Championship campaign of the new season off to a flying start in the high-profile opener against newly-relegated Bolton at Turf Moor on Saturday after picking up all three points in a convincing 2-0 victory. This was not just a game we needed to win but one for obvious reasons that all Burnley fans wanted to win more than usual! Owen Coyle still gets the Burnley fans phlegm going even by just mentioning his name and to see him back at the Turf just seems to provoke a response of hatred. So it was again on Saturday but at least this time Burnley fans could witness a Bolton team struggling with life in the Championship under a manager considered by many Clarets fans to be back where he belongs. Bolton went down under Owen Coyle after eleven seasons in the top flight and boy could you sense the Bolton`s fans frustrations. Burnley`s 2-0 win over the men from Horwich does not give our dominance in this game justice. You could see we were hungry to win this game from the very start and our motivation alone seemed to ensure the Bolton team simply wilted in the heat and humidity! We had done our homework and were commanding in midfield restricting Bolton to so few chances up front it is hard to recall any of them. Burnley`s newly strengthened defence had very little to do but when called upon to act they did so at ease and thwarted the Trotters all afternoon. Putting aside the Judas factor, I have to say in all honesty that Bolton were probably one of the worst Premier League newly relegated clubs I have seen at Turf Moor in many a season. Owen Coyle has certainly a lot to do, if he can survive that long with Bolton`s own fans baying for blood and a managerial change. Aw bless, it couldn`t have happened to a nicer guy!
Clarets fans also got a taste of Eddie Howe`s current preferred starting eleven at Championship level putting aside the current injuries to Ings and Treacy. In fact there was only one change to the starting eleven that lined up against Port Vale in the Capital One cup clash at Vale Park on Tuesday night with Martin Paterson in the side after returning from international duty. Howe decided in the end to go with 4-4-2 with Pato supporting Charlie Austin up front. Our other recognised strikers, Sam Vokes and Alex MacDonald (or is he a midfielder now?) had to be content with a place on the bench along with Brian Jensen, Michael Duff, Ben Mee and new signing Brian Stock. There was also a welcome return for Marvin Bartley on the substitutes` bench following his recent lay-off with a persistent ankle injury. So the line-up in the end was as follows:
Grant, Trippier, Shackell, Edgar, Mills, Wallace, McCann, Marney, Stanislas, Paterson, Austin
Substitutes: Jensen, Duff, Mee, Bartley, Stock, MacDonald, Vokes
Clarets fans hoping to see Chris Eagles play for Bolton would have to wait since he was only named on the bench but there was a starting eleven place for former Burnley right back, Tyrone Mears. Both players of course left for Bolton last summer late in the transfer window leaving Eddie Howe hard put to find replacements. It was certainly an electric atmosphere in front of a large crowd as West Yorkshire referee Jonathan Moss got the local derby underway on a hot, sunny and sweltering afternoon
It was the Clarets too who were quickest out of the blocks setting the scene for the rest of the match. Paterson found McCann and he let rip with a volley which flew just over the top of the bar. Bolton though also started well and from an early corner, Sam Ricketts saw his glancing header blocked in front of the goal. Pato was being Pato though and his boundless energy continued to bamboozle a lacklustre Bolton defence wilting in the sun. He nearly scored too after Trippier played him in behind the Bolton back-four. Paterson tried a neat angled lob and it nearly paid off but frustratingly it was just too high with the ball finishing up on the roof of the net.
The deadlock looked certain to be broken midway through the first half though when Burnley tried their now famous step over routine from a corner to set up Austin with the Bolton defence all at sixes and sevens! He missed his kick though completely and that seemed to spur on Bolton.
Sordell pounced to set up Lee but he failed to convert the chance. A volley from Petrov then sailed just over the bar but the Clarets soon got back in their stride. Burnley always looked the most likely to score and it nearly came when the influential Marney managed to get forward to unleash a shot from 25 yards out that fully tested Bolton keeper, Adam Bogdan. The stopper managed to parry the ball away albeit rather unconvincingly.
Six minutes before the break though the deadlock was finally broken following blocked shots on target from both Stanislas and Marney. The ball was now floating high around the penalty area allowing Austin to head across goal for Paterson to pounce and head downwards past the keeper to put the Clarets 1-0 up and send the Burnley fans delirious. This was certainly a good time to open the scoring and it seemed to deflate Bolton and Owen Coyle with half-time approaching. The referee then brought to an end a pulsating half with the Clarets clearly the better team buoyed up by a well-deserved 1-0 lead.
Burnley were not done yet though and came storming out for the start of the second determined to take the match to Bolton and not let them back into the game. Continuing to push forward the Clarets were determined to test the Bolton keeper ensuring he was kept busy all afternoon. Bogdan first had to save off the head of Austin following a testing cross from McCann and then prevent Austin scoring from a long-range effort after diving to his right. Austin though would not be denied a goal after scoring on average one per game over the pre-season friendlies and Port Vale match and he doubled the lead in the 57th minute. Stanislas had come more and more into the game and breaking free down the left flank he managed to put over a low cross in perfect fashion to find a rampant Austin at the far post. It may have looked scrappy but he got in behind the defenders to bundle the goal over the line.
Owen Coyle did not seem to have any answers but thought things might improve if he freshened things up a bit so off went Petrov and Kevin Davies to be replaced by Afobe and former Clarets winger, Chris Eagles. The change was totally ineffective and Burnley were once again in charge and moving forward setting up chances. One fell to Paterson after picking up a flicked ball from Austin. His shot though was denied by the keeper who saved at the foot of the post. Pato had run and run and run but now he looked exhausted so with 15 minutes to go he came off to a standing ovation to be replaced by Vokes. Howe made further changes with Mee replacing Stanislas on 80 minutes to shore up the defence and allow Joseph Mills to play further forward in midfield. His brother, Matt must have been looking on with some envy from the Bolton bench and he would not get the chance to play against his younger brother. Brian Stock would also come on for the last few minutes to replace Austin but in the end this was a comfortable victory for the Clarets. Bolton were having a mare of a game and in really only one memorable attempt on goal their only real chance came with seven minutes to go. Ben Mee on the line though headed away an attempt from Zak Knight and that was it really! Burnley had made the best possible start to their 2012-13 Championship campaign sending Owen Coyle and his Bolton mob back to Horwich with their tails between their trotters! A superb performance really and one which we fully deserved to win! Eddie Howe said after the match:
" The lads were outstanding from start to finish. I thought there were some gigantic performances from individuals - some great debuts - and I thought we looked like a good side.
'It's only one game so we can't get carried away, but it's certainly a good performance and hopefully it will give the lads a lot of confidence.
'I think everyone looks back to last year and could see at times we would wobble but I didn't think we did that in this game.'
Meanwhile under pressure Bolton gaffer, now known as 'Calamity Coyle` to a section of Bolton fans could only say:
'I felt we lost a poor goal. We huffed and puffed without really imposing and I think we had one cleared off the line from Zat Knight at a corner but we certainly didn't create the goal scoring opportunities that I would have wanted."
Yes, Owen three bags full Owen! Don`t you now wish you had not left such an adoring fan base you had before you stuck the knife in Burnley`s back? hahaha
Burnley: Grant, Trippier, Shackell, Edgar, Mills, Wallace, McCann, Marney, Stanislas (Mee - 80), Paterson (Vokes - 75), Austin (Stock - 90)
Subs Not Used: Jensen, Duff, Bartley, MacDonald
Goals: Paterson 39, Austin 57
Booked: Yellow card for Marney
Bolton Wanderers: Bogdan, Mears, Ream, Knight, Ricketts, Andrews, Petrov (Eagles - 59), M Davies (Pratley - 75), Lee, K Davies (Afobe - 59), Sordell
Subs Not Used: Lonergan, Alonso, Mills, Wylde
Booked: Yellow cards for Andrews and Pratley
Possession: 53% Burnley, 47% Bolton (Source: BBC Sport)
Ref: Jonathan Moss (West Yorkshire)
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Date:Sunday August 19 2012
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