Millers merry after away success

Promotion contenders Leicester and Derby made winning starts to life in Division One but it was Rotherham who provided the biggest shock on the opening day of the season.

Promotion contenders Leicester and Derby made winning starts to life in Division One but it was Rotherham who provided the biggest shock on the opening day of the season.

Ronnie Moore’s men put aside their close shave with relegation last season to crush play-off semi-finalists Millwall 6-0 at The Den.

Darren Byfield grabbed four of the goals, putting them ahead before Martin McIntosh’s 43rd-minute free-kick slipped through goalkeeper Tony Warner’s fingers.

Byfield made it three on 53 minutes, Chris Sedgwick added the Millers’ fourth in the 71st minute before Byfield hit two goals in two minutes to seal a stunning win.

Brian Deane, a man with another famous first to his name, got Leicester’s first-ever league goal at the Walkers Stadium and helped them to victory against Watford.

Deane scored in the 47th minute to add to the distinction of scoring the first-ever Premier League goal, for Sheffield United against Manchester United in August 1992.

He doubled their lead eight minutes later as Micky Adams’ side made a winning start in their bid to make an instant return to the top flight.

East midlands rivals Derby also claimed three points against newly-promoted Reading.

Veteran midfielder Rob Lee scored the first in the 61st minute and Fabrizio Ravanelli added a second two minutes later after good work from Malcolm Christie.

The highly-rated England Under-21 star then tucked home a third as Ravanelli returned the compliment by setting him up.

While Reading struggled, fellow promoted side Brighton tore Burnley apart at Turf Moor in Martin Hinshelwood’s first game as Seagulls boss.

Steve Melton gave them the lead in the 29th minute, Paul Brooker cut inside and blasted a second after 65 minutes before star striker Bobby Zamora got in on the act three minutes later, Lee Briscoe scoring a consolation for the Clarets.

Coventry made a great start to life under new player-manager Gary McAllister, coming from behind to beat Sheffield United 2-1.

Carl Asaba put the Blades ahead with a tremendous 13th-minute goal but McAllister laid on an equaliser for Jay Bothroyd three minutes later.

Substitute Gary McSheffrey grabbed the winner for the Sky Blues five minutes from half-time.

Norwich gave their fans something to smile about after last season’s play-off final penalty shoot-out defeat, thrashing Grimsby 4-0 at Carrow Road.

Two goals apiece from Phil Mulryne and Paul McVeigh put paid to the Mariners, with Mulryne’s first – a 30-yard screamer – the pick of the bunch.

Harry Redknapp’s new-look Portsmouth got their season off to a positive start with a win over Nottingham Forest.

Deon Burton, back at Fratton Park on loan from Derby, gave them the lead in the seventh minute before Vincent Pericard, on a temporary deal from Juventus, doubled Pompey’s lead on the stroke of half-time with a diving header.

Wimbledon suffered from a fan boycott as they slipped to defeat at home to Gillingham.

Guy Ipoua scored the only goal for the Gills as only 668 home fans turned up in protest at the planned relocation of the Dons to Milton Keynes.

New Stoke boss Steve Cotterill made a solid start with a goalless draw against Sheffield Wednesday, but were reliant on goalkeeper Neil Cutler for keeping out the Owls attack.

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