Bright start for Barker
Richie Barker only arrived a matter of days before the start of the campaign after Sean O’Driscoll’s surprise departure, but the former Bury chief saw his new charges ease to a success in their first-ever fixture at this level.
The Reds, 11/10 beforehand, went in front through Gary Alexander 12 minutes before the break and the Scot doubled the tally from the spot in the second period. Jonathan Forte struck the third against his former club and the afternoon got worse for the Iron five minutes from the end when Mark Duffy saw red.
Elsewhere, the other newly-promoted sides didn’t enjoy such success with Swindon held at Hartlepool, Shrewsbury going down 1-0 at Sheffield United and Crewe losing on home turf at the hands of Notts County.
The shock of the afternoon came at Fratton Park, as crisis-hit Portsmouth earned a highly creditable draw with south-coast rivals Bournemouth. Michael Appleton didn’t even have a squad to call on a week ago but the rookie boss was able to cobble together a side good enough to push the Cherries all the way.
One of those recent arrivals, ex-Barnet striker Izale McLeod, opened the scoring for the hosts 19 minutes in and 16/5 Pompey were looking good for the three points until debutant – and Southampton loanee - Lee Barnard equalised for the visitors.
Doncaster, who were relegated along with Appleton’s men last term, were quick out of the blocks at Walsall, racing to a 3-0 success. Chris Brown struck early on, with David Cotterill and Kyle Bennett also notching in a routine triumph for Rovers, landing Coral’s odds of 8/5.
There is a full League One programme on Tuesday night with Swindon hosting Crawley in one of the stand-out fixtures.
Results: Bury 0-0 Brentford, Crawley 3-0 Scunthorpe, Crewe 1-2 Notts County, Hartlepool 0-0 Swindon, MK Dons 2-0 Oldham, Portsmouth 1-1 Bournemouth, Preston 0-0 Colchester, Sheff Utd 1-0 Shrewsbury, Stevenage 1-1 Carlisle, Tranmere 3-1 Leyton Orient, Walsall 0-3 Doncaster, Yeovil 1-1 Coventry
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