OWEN Coyle may have missed out on the action on Bolton’s only visit to Turf Moor during his time at Burnden Park, but the events of that day were enough to prove that it has not always needed the Scot to bring controversy to this particular Lancashire derby.

Extra spice has been added to Tuesday’s Carling Cup clash between Burnley and Bolton by the return of Coyle to Turf Moor, just eight months after he quit the Clarets to move to the Reebok Stadium.

On October 8, 1994, it was merely a Lancashire rivalry. But many Burnley fans still remember that First Division fixture to this day.

Bolton arrived at Turf Moor with Coyle absent from the 14. The striker had scored seven goals in his first season in England, after arriving from Airdrie in the summer of 1993, but featured rarely in the early stages of his second season because of injury and competition for places up front.

John McGinlay put the visitors ahead but Steve Davis, who in January followed Coyle to the Reebok, smashed home a free kick to level for Burnley and John Deary then put them ahead – with Bolton reduced to 10 men in the second half by the dismissal of Jason Lydiate.

Then came the late controversy.

Bruce Rioch’s side were upset by a challenge by Clarets substitute John Gayle, in which Nicky Spooner suffered a broken leg. Spooner, 23 at the time, would never play for Bolton again.

Burnley still expected etiquette to be followed when play was restarted but Bolton, now down to nine men with their substitutes already used, had other ideas.

McGinlay refused to give the ball back and from his throw-in the Trotters won a corner, from which Simon Coleman equalised in the last minute.

The match finished 2-2, to the anger of many Burnley fans.

“They had put the ball out for a throw-in, to be fair,” recalled McGinlay.

“But Bruce Rioch said not to give it back to them. After all, we had nine men and were still livid.

“We drew the game 2-2. Their coach called me a cheat and some of the stuff coming from the stands was incredible.

“I think with everything that has gone on with Owen, his staff and so on in the past 12 months, Burnley might well be our grudge match in my eyes now.”