Bolton suffer an opening day defeat at Turf Moor
Burnley took all the points on the opening day of the season, with close-range goals from Martin Paterson and Charlie Austin deciding the game at Turf Moor.
After an even first 30 minutes, the Burnley frontmen men struck either side of half-time, with Paterson’s first netted amidst claims for offside.
Austin doubled the lead when he converted from close-range 11 minutes after the restart following a defence-splitting cross from the left by Junior Stanislas.
The closest Wanderers came to troubling the scorers was a header from Zat Knight which was cleared off the line by Ben Mee late on.
Owen Coyle went with a 4-4-2 formation on his return to Burnley, opting for Chung-Yong Lee on the right instead former Clarets winger Chris Eagles. Skipper Kevin Davies – starting his tenth season with Bolton – partnered Marvin Sordell in attack.
As expected in this Lancashire derby, it was a blood-and-thunder start with plenty of challenges flying in during the opening exchanges. Both sets of fans were up for this game too, making for a ferocious atmosphere inside Turf Moor.
The first half was very much end to end, with both teams having a real go at each other.
Chris McCann set the pace inside the opening two minutes with a 30-yard volley that flew over the bar, while Martin Paterson was inches away from breaking the deadlock with a delicate lobbed finish that clipped the top of the crossbar.
While the home side started brightly, so did with Wanderers. Martin Petrov whipped in several crosses and free-kicks and the on counter-attack, Coyle’s charges were a constant threat.
At the midway point of the half, a lightning quick breakaway move culminated in Chung-Yong scuffing arguably Bolton’s best chance of the opening 45 minutes.
Sordell and Petrov hit Burnley with speed, but having found space in the box, the South Korean dragged his finish wide when unmarked 12 yards out.
Bogdan saved well from a long-range Dean Marney effort before Petrov was literally inches away from breaking the deadlock, catching Burnley stopper Lee Grant off guard with a snap-shot right volley that skimmed the roof of the net.
As it was, the home side took the lead six minutes before the break, despite appeals for offside by the Bolton backline.
After a goalmouth scramble, Marney’s shot from the edge of the area struck Tyrone Mears full in the face. It rebounded out to Charlie Austin whose header across goal was turned in at close-range by Paterson.
Burnley had the momentum going into half-time and they followed this up 11 minutes after the restart with their second strike of the afternoon - again with a goal that was bundled over the line inside the six-yard box.
This time it was all about the quality of the delivery from Junior Stanislas, who sent across the perfect centre from the left wing. Tim Ream attempted to clear but Austin got the final touch at the far post to make the score 2-0.
Coyle responded by making a double change. Benik Afobe and Chris Eagles were thrown on, with Kevin Davies and Petrov making way.
But the home side had the wind in their sails and they continued to pour onto Bolton, most notably when Paterson stung the palms of Bogdan with a volley from a tight angle.
After steadying the flow, Bolton pressed and probed for a route back into the game, but they were up against an organised and resolute Burnley defence, marshalled by skipper Jason Shackell.
In the closing stages it was all Wanderers but they just could not find half a yard of space inside the box or any fortune to drop their way.
Mears’ shot from distance was dragged wide and Zat Knight’s header was cleared off the line by substitute Ben Mee, as all efforts proved fruitless.
Wanderers next have the opportunity to get their season up and running on Tuesday when Derby County visit the Reebok Stadium.
Wanderers:Bogdan, Mears, Ream, Knight, Ricketts, Chung-Yong, Andrews, M Davies (Pratley 75), Petrov (Eagles 59), Sordell, K Davies (Afobe 59) (Subs not used: Lonergan, Alonso, Mills, Wylde)
Burnley: Grant, Trippier, Shackell, McCann, Wallace, Marney, Paterson (Vokes 75), Stanislas (Mee 78), Edgar, Mills, Austin (Stock 90) (Subs not used: Jensen, Duff, Bartley, MacDonald)