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Match Reports

Burnley 2 Bolton 0

18 August 2012

Burnley off the mark

The sun beat down on Turf Moor but it felt like Christmas for the Clarets as they got their Championship campaign off to the perfect start with a comfortable win over Owen Coyle's Bolton.

Burnley's former manager was sent home empty handed as the Clarets of Eddie Howe produced almost the ideal all-round performance.

Strikers Martin Paterson and Charlie Austin both found the net - pouncing either side of half time - and at the other end there was a confidence-boosting clean sheet for the re-shaped defence expertly marshalled by new captain Jason Shackell.

In front of them there was barely a foot put wrong as Dean Marney produced a magnificent performance in a midfield holding role and Chris McCann got back to his very best.

And while things won't always be as good as this, Burnley couldn't have asked for more in outplaying a side freshly relegated from the Premier League in front of a bumper crowd in their quest to remedy a disappoiting recent home record that they will hope will now be the bedrock for a successful season.

The return of Paterson from international duty to the Clarets' starting line-up was the only change Howe made from the side that opened up with a mid-week Capital One Cup win.

And the Northern Ireland striker was involved from the off, teeing up Chris McCann for a volley which whistled over the top.

He then provided the catalyst for the Clarets to begin to get on top after Bolton had started well, Sam Ricketts seeing a glancing header from an early corner blocked in front of goal.

Paterson's constant running and non-stop work-rate had the Bolton back line fully stretched and after being played in behind the defence by Kieran Trippier his angled lob was just too high as it landed on the roof of the net.

That was nothing, though, on the chance Austin had to break the deadlock mid-way through the first half as the Clarets wheeled out their favourite dummy corner routine, Austin missing his kick as the Wanderers' defence parted.

And that could have proved costly as Bolton immediately broke with Marvin Sordell creating a chance for Chung Yong Lee which he should have converted.

Martin Petrov also volleyed just over but the Clarets always looked the more potent and Marney, slotting into the role vacated by Brian Stock, got forward to let fly with a swerving 25-yarder which Adam Bogdan unconvincingly parried away.

And Marney was involved again as the Clarets deservedly went in front six minutes before the break.

Both Junior Stanislas and Marney saw goalbound shots blocked but with the ball pinging around the penalty area Austin was able to head across for goal for Paterson, starting from a suspiciously offisde position, to nip in and nod downwards and past Bogdan to set Turf Moor alight.

The Clarets sniffed the chance of a second early in the second half as they continued to push forward, Bogdan becoming increasingly busy as he took the ball of Austin's head from a teasing McCann cross and then diving to his right to keep out a long-range Austin effort.

But the predatory Austin wouldn't be denied for long as he doubled Burnley's lead 11 minutes after the re-start.

Stanislas gradually grew into the game and when he got free down the left his low cross was perfectly delivered for Austin to arrive at the far post and get ahead of the defenders to bundle in his second goal in five days.

Coyle reacted by taking off Petrov and Kevin Davies as Benik Afobe and former Claret Chris Eagles were sent on to try and spark a fightback but again it was Burnley who went closest to scoring as they refused to sit on their lead, Austin flicking on for Paterson to force Bogdan into another save at the foot of a post.

Bolton couldn't live with the movement and drive of the Clarets' front pair and Paterson deserved his standing ovation as he made way for Sam Vokes with 15 minutes to go.

Ben Mee then replaced Stanislas as Howe added an extra level of defensive insurance for the closing stages as Joseph Mills - who missed out on a family reunion with brother Matt as he stayed on the Bolton bench - pushing into midfield.

And on a day when everything went right for the Clarets, it was Mee who headed off the line from Zat Knight as Bolton finally mustered an effort on target with seven minutes left of an up-lifting afternoon.

Burnley: Grant, Trippier, Mills, Edgar, Shackell, Marney, McCann, Wallace, Austin (Stock 90), Paterson (Vokes 75), Stanislas (Mee 79).

Subs: Bartley, MacDonald, Duff, Jensen.

Booked: Marney 19

Bolton: Bogdan, Mears, Ream, Andrews, Petrov (Eagles 58), Knight, K Davies (Afobe 58), M Davies (Pratley 75), Ricketts, Sordell, Lee.

Subs: Alonso, Mills, Wylde, Pratley, Lonergan.

Booked: Andrews 15, Pratley 89

Referee: Jonathan Moss

Attendance: 18,407

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