Crystal Palace fly out of the blocks

Crystal Palace made a blistering start to their npower Championship campaign after they raced into a 3-0 half-time lead over Leicester.

Crystal Palace made a blistering start to their npower Championship campaign after they raced into a 3-0 half-time lead over Leicester.

Palace, managed by former Scotland boss George Burley, only survived relegation to League One on the final day of last season after a 2-2 draw at Sheffield Wednesday, which sent the Owls down instead.

But they made a positive start to this campaign and took the lead when 17-year-old striker Wilfred Zaha lobbed home, before Darren Ambrose made it two soon after.

Alan Lee ensured a dream start for Palace with a goal on the stroke of half-time, leaving Leicester boss Paulo Sousa with a testing half-time team talk in his first game in charge.

Doncaster also hit the ground running as they held a two-goal lead over Preston after 45 minutes.

James O’Connor put Rovers ahead in the 12th minute when he fired home with a low shot and James Hayter doubled the lead six minutes later with a close-range finish.

Hull began life after the Premier League in good fashion as they led Swansea 1-0 at the KC Stadium. John Bostock broke the deadlock in fine style with a 30-yard strike which rocketed into the top corner in the 23rd minute.

Burnley also started well as Chris Iwelumo’s goal on the stroke of half-time put them ahead against promotion rivals Nottingham Forest at Turf Moor.

Middlesbrough will be hoping to produce a much better promotion campaign than they could muster last season and they started brightly as Scott McDonald’s goal gave them the advantage over Ipswich.

Tamas Priskin hit the crossbar as the Tractor Boys tried to respond, but Roy Keane will be demanding more from his side after the break.

Portsmouth’s woes continued as it took just three minutes for them to fall behind at Coventry, with Freddy Eastwood finding the scoresheet.

Garry Thompson gave relegation favourites Scunthorpe a flying start at Reading when he struck in the ninth minute, but the Iron could only hold their lead for 15 minutes before Gylfi Sigurdsson levelled matters.

England goalkeeper David James was beaten in his Bristol City debut as Darren Ward gave promoted Millwall the lead at Ashton Gate, while Heidar Helguson’s penalty put QPR ahead against Barnsley.

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