Championship round-up Week One

Sheffield Wednesday gave Bristol City boss Steve Cotterill a culture shock after defeating his side 2-0. City were use to collecting all three points on their way to the League One trophy last season but never really revved up In their first second tier match since 2013. After a mediocre opening half Tom Lees headed Wednesday in front with his first goal in blue and white. Lewis McGugan doubled the lead not long later to sink City and give new boss Carlos Carvajal his first victory.

Derby County will find it difficult to replicate last season’s success under new manager Paul Clement. Their opponents Bolton Wanderers controlled the match for the majority of the 90 minutes, rattling the woodwork twice as Derby failed to get a foothold on the match. Promising youngster was stretchered off on 33 minutes adding extra disappointment to the Rams awful performance.

Northern rivals Leeds United and Burnley shared the spoils in a feisty opening week encounter. New signing Stuart Dallas impressed on his debut for whites, hitting bar with a deflected shot in the first half. Leeds looked like a much more settled side compared to last season and Mirco Antenucci opened his account for the season with a curling strike from the edge of the box. The lead would not last long as just 2 minutes later Clarets substitute Sam Vokes firmly headed past the helpless Marco Sylvestri.

Hull City got off the mark in their Championship return with a convincing win over relegation candidates Huddersfield. Two new additions grabbed the goals with former Chesterfield man Sam Clucas tapping in the rebound of his own shot to give the Tigers the lead. Arsenal loanee Chuba Akpom turned on the style to score his first Hull goal and make the points safe for Steve Bruce’s men.

Kazenga Lualua scored the opening goal of the championship campaign
Kazenga Lualua scored the opening goal of the championship campaign

Brighton and Hove Albion kicked off the new season in style with an impressive victory over Nottingham Forest. Many people have Forest down for the play-offs under new boss Dougie Freedman. Skipper Henri Lansbury was inches away from opening the scoring when his free kick shaved the post. Brighton’s Israeli midfielder Berim Kayal was next to try his luck, also hitting the woodwork. The deadlock was finally broken by Kazenga Lualua as his mazy run ended with a fantastic left footed strike past Dorus De Vries.

Newly promoted MK Dons went top of the league with a 4-1 victory over relegation favourites Rotherham United. Steve Evans men survived by the skin of their teeth last campaign but were behind early this time round thanks to Robert Hall. Matt Derbyshire pulled a goal back before MK went wild. Goals from Dean Bowditch, Carl Baker and a Danny Collins own goal, concluded a miserable day for the Millers and left Milton Keynes sitting pretty at the top.

Benik Afobe continued his scintillating form from last season by giving his side a precious victory over Blackburn Rovers. Both teams are hotly tipped for promotion and goal machines vying for spots on both team’s frontlines you would expect both to be up there. Jordan Rhodes, who Is subject to interest from Championship rivals Middlesbrough, rattled the post early on before Afobe opened the scoring. Craig Conway levelled things up before a dubious hand ball decision gifted Wolves all three points.

Cardiff City and Fulham played out a 1-1 draw in front of a capacity crowd in Wales. Fulham target man Matt Smith opened the scoring just after half time, but maximum points was whipped away from the Cottagers with Craig Noone struck just 4 minutes from time. Russell Slade failed to acclimatize to his new surroundings last season, but after a full pre season with the club, he may just kick on with his newly assembled squad.

Two injury time goals sent the Bees crowd into ecstasy after they grabbed a draw with Ipswich Town at Griffin Park. Andre Gray was the catalyst to the single point, an inspired substitution from new gaffer Marinus Dijkhuizen. James Tarkowski was the man to bundle in the equalizing goal. Scrappy, but worth every penny to Tarkowski who is one of the few names survive the new transfer strategy implanted by Matthew Benham.

Charlton Athletic taught relegated QPR a harsh lesson, but one they must learn from. The 2-0 victory proves the Addicks have vastly improved over the summer. Goals were difficult to come by at the Valley last season, but Scottish striker Tony Watt opened his account just afte half time. Morgan Fox doubled the lead with a powerful left footed strike from distance. Chris Ramsey will have to hammer his philosophy into his squad if an immediate return to the top flight is on the cards.

Stewart Downing failed to impress on his Riverside return
Stewart Downing failed to impress on his Riverside return

Preston shared the points on their Championship return against last season’s beaten play off finalists Middlesbrough. Both defences were resolute enough to withstand the little pressure put on them, with Joe Garner having the best chance towards the end of a game that North End will take more from.

Finally Birmingham kick-started their season with a crucial opening win over Reading. The Blues are many people’s tips for a play off spot and on this evidence they may be worth a punt. David Cotterill opened the scoring before new addition Jon Toral applied the finishing touches. Nick Blackman grabbed a consolation goal, but the Royals could not find the extra effort to serge past a resolute Birmingham defence.

 Results in full

Brighton Albion 1-0 Nottingham Forest champ totw week 1

Cardiff City 1-1 Fulham

Leeds United 1-1 Burnley

Birmingham City 2-1 Reading

Blackburn Rovers 1-2 Wolverhampton Wanderers

Bolton Wanderers 0-0 Derby County

Brentford 2-2 Ipswich Town

Charlton Athletic 2-0 Queen’s Park Rangers

Hull City 2-0 Huddersfield Town

Rotherham United 1-4 Milton Keynes Dons

Sheffield Wednesday 2-0 Bristol City

Preston North End 0-0 Middlesbrough

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