Darius scores but team can’t hold two goal lead

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FORMER Sheffield United hit-man Darius Henderson got his Millwall career off to a decent start with a goal at Reading.

He scored the game’s first goal and his side went 2-0 up from John Marquis on 62 minutes.

But last season’s losing play-off finalists staged a remarkable comeback to tie 2-2.

A brace from Mathieu Manset inside the last five minutes salvaged a surprise point.

Birmingham began life back in the second tier with a morale-sapping 2-1 defeat at Derby. Chris Hughton’s side, weakened by the sale of a host of players over the summer following relegation from the Premier, took the lead through Curtis Davies’ header, but the Rams responded through Jason Shackell’s own headed goal.

Steve Davies netted what proved to be the winner for Nigel Clough’s men just before half-time.

Promotion favourites Leicester kicked off their season with a 1-0 win at Coventry in the division’s early kick-off.Right-back Lee Peltier, a summer signing from Huddersfield, scored the only goal in the 52nd minute as he headed home Richie Wellens’ cross but was forced off by an injury eight minutes later.

Both sides had a man sent off in the first half, with Darius Vassell dismissed for the Foxes and Carl Baker seeing red for the Sky Blues.

Middlesbrough had to settle for a point in a 2-2 draw at home to Portsmouth, for whom Luke Varney grabbed an injury-time equaliser.

Marvin Emnes gave Boro the half-time advantage before David Norris notched a debut goal for Pompey. Rhys Williams’ smart finish restored the Teessiders’ lead, but Varney’s late strike denied the hosts a winning start.

Newly-promoted Peterborough came from behind to beat Crystal Palace 2-1 at London Road as substitute David Ball grabbed the winner.

Sean Scannell gave the Eagles the edge in the 33rd minute but Darren Ferguson’s men equalised when Grant McCann drilled home from a clever Lee Tomlin set-piece, and their joy was complete when Ball nodded home Mark Little’s cross in the 73rd minute.

Newly-promoted Southampton proved too good for Leeds, beating Simon Grayson’s men 3-1 at St Mary’s.

Dean Hammond’s long-range strike gave Saints the early advantage and a neat finish from Adam Lallana doubled their lead. Veteran striker David Connolly added a third early in the second half before Max Gradel’s late penalty provided the smallest of consolations for Leeds.