The first weekend of the Championship season saw the majority of teams playing in glorious sunshine up and down the country.
The big story this weekend was that both the main title favourites Derby County and Middlesbrough were held to 0-0 draws away from home, by Bolton Wanderers and Preston North End respectively. Indeed, both could have lost their opening day fixtures as Wanderers hit the woodwork three times in the last 15 minutes and Joe Garner missed a late chance to claim all three points for new boys Preston.
The Championship kicked off on Friday night as Brighton & Hove Albion recorded a 1-0 home victory over Dougie Freedman's Nottingham Forest. Lively winger Kazenga LuaLua scored the first goal of the season a few minutes after half-time to put the south coast side top of the league temporarily.
But Albion's stay at the top was short lived as they were usurped by newly promoted MK Dons, playing in the second tier of the football pyramid for the first time since their rebrand. The Dons marked the occasion with a 4-1 away routing of relegation favourites Rotherham United. Winger Rob Hall, on loan from Bolton, opened the scoring after five minutes, only for Matt Derbyshire to level up eight minutes later. But a deflected shot by Jordan Spence and additional goals from Dean Bowditch and Dean Baker saw them record an impressive opening day win to sit pretty in first place.
Another side that enjoyed a positive start to the new season was Charlton Athletic, who recorded a 2-0 victory over another promotion favourite Queens Park Rangers. Goals from former Celtic striker Tony Watt, who scored with his first touch as a substitute, and Morgan Fox were enough to win this London derby in which Charlie Austin hit the post for the visitors.
Hull City were the only relegated side to start life back in the Championship with three points, with goals from Sam Clucas and Chuba Akpom, on loan from Arsenal, enough to beat Huddersfield Town 2-0. Fellow relegated side Burnley drew 1-1 in a Saturday lunchtime kick-off at Leeds United as both sides traded goals in the last seven minutes of the match, with Sam Vokes' 86th minute header rescuing the visitors a point three minutes after Mirco Antenucci had opened the scoring. The Clarets felt aggrieved after they were denied two penalty appeals by Lukas Jutkiewicz, one for handball and one for a foul by Charlie Taylor on the big striker who is still awaiting his first Burnley goal.
The other Saturday lunchtime fixture saw Andy Lonergan make his Fulham debut as the Londoners made the trip to South Wales to face Cardiff City. The visitors took the lead two minutes after half-time through Matt Smith, but the Bluebirds earned a share of the spoils thanks to a superb late equaliser by Craig Noone. The winger had been on the pitch less than ten minutes when he bent a curling left footed shot past Lonergan.
Sheffield Wednesday are another side tipped for better fortunes by many this season, and they got off to a good start with a 2-0 victory over last season's League One champions Bristol City. Second half goals from Tom Lees and Lewis McGugan - who cleared a goal bound effort off his own line then ran the length of the pitch to finish off a move at the other end - saw the Owls to victory, after the West Country side's supporter groups had boycotted the match due to extortionate ticket prices of up to £39.
Birmingham City enjoyed a dramatic 2-1 victory over Reading, thanks to goalkeeper Tomasz Kuszczak's last minute penalty save from Orlando Sa. Goals either side of half-time by David Cotterill - a hugely deflected free-kick - and Jon Toral had put the Blues in the driving seat, but the visitors responded through Nick Blackman only to see Sa waste the opportunity to complete a dramatic comeback from the penalty spot.
The Blues' Midland neighbours Wolverhampton Wanderers also enjoyed an opening day success as they secured a 2-1 victory at Blackburn Rovers. Wolves took the lead on the half hour through the prolific Benik Afobe before the hosts pulled level as goalkeeper Carl Ikeme palmed Craig Conway's shot into his own net. But the visitors sealed the three points with a controversial goal on the stroke of half-time, with David Edwards scoring with his hand from Nouha Dicko's cross. Blackburn hit the post in the last minute but were unable to get back on level terms.
Elsewhere in the Championship, Brentford scrambled an unlikely draw with two last minute goals against fellow promotion hopefuls Ipswich Town. Ipswich raced into a two-goal lead through a stunning scissor kick by Kevin Bru shortly before half-time and a close range goal from loan debutant Ryan Fraser five minutes after the break. The visitors seemed set to take all three points until a late rally from Brentford saw them rescue a dramatic point through substitute Andre Gray and James Tarkowski, who scored following a goalmouth scramble in the 96th minute.
Next weekend's Saturday lunchtime kick-off sees Birmingham visit Burnley. Other notable Championship clashes see Charlton visit Derby, Ipswich hosting Sheffield Wednesday and QPR welcoming Cardiff in the 5.15 Saturday kick-off. There are also two games on Sunday, with Hull visiting Wolves and Reading hosting Leeds.