Burnley v Bolton Draw-Did We Miss Austin?
Saturday 3rd August 2013 @12:15 pm Kick-Off
Burnley started their 2013-14 campaign with a 1-1 draw at home to Bolton Wanderers on Saturday in front of the Sky Sports cameras. This special anniversary game celebrated 125 years of the Football League with both clubs being founder members back in 1888 and the fixture was a repeat of the opening game last season. All Clarets fans were wondering how we would fare without Charlie Austin who departed for QPR during the week and although it is difficult to judge on the basis of one game and one result, the general consensus was we held our own against one of the stronger teams in the Championship. Burnley at times played some sweet, attractive football with some neat passing and approach work. In terms of possession we just edged it but in the end the Clarets had to settle for a point. It was technically an own goal from Wheater in the 26th minute that gave Burnley the lead they deserved although Danny Ings might have something to say about that. Ings shot took a wicked shot deflection off the Bolton defender and to be honest Ings could claim the goal as his own should he wish to appeal. Just before half time though Bolton got the equaliser after Pratley finished off a good move by the visitors with a thumping shot that sailed past Heaton in goal. Arguably it should have been better defended but 1-1 was probably a fair result at half-time although Sean Dyche was probably the happier of the two managers. Burnley's impressive passing display allowed them to dominate for large periods of the second half but they simply could not penetrate an effective Bolton back-four and it was the visitors who were the closest to scoring. The final score remained at 1-1 and although the league table after just one match is not really that relevant Burnley find themselves in joint eleventh spot with Bolton and Blackburn after the weekend fixtures.
There were no surprises in the Clarets starting eleven. Sam Vokes as expected took over the Austin role partnering Danny Ings up front in 4-4-2 and the rest of the team were as per the side that started against Sparta Rotterdam in the home friendly the previous Saturday. We lined up as follows :
Heaton, Trippier, Shackell, Long, Lafferty, Wallace, Marney, Jones, Stanislas, Vokes, Ings
Subs: Cisak, O'Neill, Edgar, Stock, Arfield, Treacy, Noble
Full Match Report
Premier League referee, Mark Clattenburg got the game underway on a predominantly sunny day in Burnley and there was an early scare for the Clarets when Darren Pratley had his heels clipped in the box by Long but thankfully the penalty appeals were waved away, a decision by the referee that proved to be correct on watching the Sky Sports Live playback. Burnley though were soon in their stride and began to take the upper hand and impress in this early spell. Bolton were clearly under the cosh after four successive corners but they soaked up the pressure and nearly took the lead in the 17th minute. Medo Kamara thumped the ball from 30 yards out only to see his rising drive fly over the angle. The Clarets came back quickly at the Bolton defence with a low cross from Trippier which found Ings on the edge of the area and on the swivel the former Bournemouth striker`s volley flew just wide. Clarets fans though didn`t have to wait much longer before Burnley finally broke the deadlock. Sam Vokes knocked down the ball for Ings who beat Wheater for pace before shooting. The ball took a deflection off the lunging defender which was enough to beat the keeper and it also meant that Wheater would be officially credited with an own goal. Bolton though had threatened throughout the half and it eventually paid off 14 minutes after Burnley had taken the lead. Former Clarets winger, Chris Eagles picked up the ball down the right and cut-back in to find Pratley with a perfect pass. In acres of space, Pratley made no mistake from 12 yards out thumping the ball past Heaton to level the scores. 1-1 it remained at half-time.
No changes were made by either side for the start of the second half. For the neutral this was proving to be an entertaining game with both sides playing attractive football and creating chances. The second half continued in a similar vein but after ten minutes Burnley nearly got their noses back in front again. Stanislas from a free-kick thumped the ball from 30 yards out before a nervous-looking Bogdan got a glove to the skidding shot as it bobbled towards target pushing the ball around the post for a corner. Burnley then notched up the pressure forcing a sequence of three consecutive corners. The Bolton defence though once again held firm and there was no way through for the Clarets. A Trippier cross which was only half-cleared fell to Stanislas on the edge of the area in the 68th minute. The former West Ham winger had time to pick his spot but this time his shot was thumped high and wide. Chances were now few and far between. Substitute Craig Davies brought out a good save from Heaton with a shot from distance and then with eight minutes remaining Burnley had their last chance of the match when a drive from Ings led to another Bogdan save. Bolton had the last attempt of the match when Medo fired just wide of Heaton`s left hand post but the game finished 1-1. On the evidence of this game, we probably didn`t miss Austin but it could be a long-hard season if we don`t find some additional firepower soon especially if one of the current strikers picks up an injury
Burnley: Heaton, Trippier, Shackell, Long, Lafferty, Wallace, Marney, Jones, Stanislas (Arfield - 80), Vokes, Ings (Edgar - 89)
Subs Not Used: Cisak, O'Neill, Stock, Treacy, Noble
Goal: Wheater 26(og)
Bolton Wanderers: Bogdan, Knight, Baptiste, Tierney, Wheater, Eagles (Ngog - 64), Andrews, Pratley, Lee, Medo, Beckford (C Davies - 80)
Subs Not Used: Lonergan, Mears, Ream, Moritz, Hall
Goal: Pratley 37
Booked: Yellow card for Lee 90 mins
Possession: 53% Burnley, 47% Bolton (Source: BBC Sport)
Ref: Mark Clattenburg (Tyne & Wear)