PHOTOS: Burnley 2, Bolton Wanderers 0
KARMA often finds a way of working its way back to haunt you.
That's exactly what happened to Bolton Wanderers boss Owen Coyle 32 months after walking out on the Clarets' maiden Premier League campaign.
On this occasion karma was characterised in the form of Turf Moor strike force Martin Paterson and Charlie Austin who struck in either half to rain, torrentially, on Coyle's return.
And the result, matched by the performance, was resounding for Eddie Howe's side who dominated for the majority.
Howe declared the politics surrounding Coyle's return to Turf Moor didn't interest him.
But the vociferous home faithful made their feelings known when the Bolton boss stepped from the tunnel prior to kick-off; their vented anomosity reverburating around the four walls of the stadium.
However, the atmosphere prior to his appearance was jovial with the club presenting East Lancs Olympians to the crowd - hammer thrower Sophie Hitchon, Kayaker Jon Schofield and cyclist Steven Burke.
And the home side went for gold from the first whistle, McCann drilling in to the visiting support from Paterson's knock down.
But Wanderers made their presence known and Sam Ricketts caused problems twice, his flick on forcing a melee from one corner before he blazed over with his head from the second.
As play swung once more, Paterson raced on to a hopeful ball over the top of a rigid Wanderers defence, averted the attentions of Tim Ream, before lifting a right-footed effort beyond Adam Bogdan but on to the roof of the net. Then, after Junior Stanislas fired wide of the near post from the angle of the area, both Keith Andrews and Marney went in to referee Jonathan Moss's book for a cynical foul and a lunge respectively.
The Clarets boasted the majority of possession, playing in behind Bolton's full-backs and utilising the flanks, while the away side approached the game relatively one dimensionally, hitting the diagonal ball from left to right, ignoring the pace and mobility of former Claret Tyrone Mears.
Howe's men almost broke the deadlock with a familiar corner routine, Ross Wallace's low set-piece was dummied by David Edgar but Austin couldn't make a true connection. And as Bolton broke, Petrov found Marvin Sordell who threaded the ball in to the path of Chung Yong Lee inside the area but as the space opened, the winger dragged harmlessly wide.
Spurred on by the support the Clarets pressed high, latching on to every mistake and loose ball and as it fell for Marney the midfielder smashed an effort goalwards from 25 yards, forcing Bogdan to punch to safety at the expense of a corner.
McCann swiped wide as the Clarets built their momentum and at the other end an almost anonymous Petrov fizzed inches over from a sweetly struck volley once Lee's centre from the right found him lurking on the edge of the box.
But then came the breakthrough, cue the delirium. McCann stung Mears's face from inside the area, Marney's rebound was blocked, but with Bogdan having already committed, Austin nodded nonchalantly in to the path of Paterson who headed home with ease, securing goals for club and country - Northern Ireland - within a week.
After the interval the hosts maintained their flowing tempo, tearing through Bolton on the break and threatening with crosses in behind an often statute defence.
The fingertips of Bogdan denied Austin at the back post from McCann's clipped centre, though Lee Grant almost allowed Wanderers an invitation back in to the fixture with a calamitous clearance that Lee failed to take full advantage of.
Bogdan then palmed Austin's audacious drive to safety as the Clarets continued to force their opponents on the back foot. Bolton piled forward but lacked the quality or penetration to breach Burnley's organised rearguard, marshalled expertly by skipper Jason Shackell.
And so it was up to the Clarets to display how it was done. Stanislas drove at Mears, executed a perfect cross with the outside of the boot across the six-yard box where Ream, in a bid to clear, struck in to the chest of Austin who raced away towards the Jimmy McIlroy Stand in delight.
Coyle made a double substitution in hope of transforming the flow of the game with Chris Eagles and Benik Afobe replacing Petrov and Kevin Davies, and though the former had a positive impact on the game, the former Claret couldn't inspire a comeback.
Paterson forced Bogdan in to a save at his near post after beating Bolton's backline for pace once more before Stanislas angled a drive over the bar after swapping passes with McCann. Austin went close again from a precise, piercing cross from Joseph Mills, before Ream touched away from Paterson as the striker looked to bounce on the loose ball.
Bolton went close in the final few minutes with substitute Ben Mee heading Knight's header off the line, but the Clarets were in cruise control and stormed to a 2-0 victory on the opening day of the 2012/13 Championship term.
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Thursday 23 May 2013
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