By Mark Buckingham
Last Updated: 01/01/70 1:00am
Birmingham and West Brom resumed with wins, as Southend also claimed three points.
Birmingham City and West Bromwich Albion resumed life in The Championship with wins, while promoted Southend United also picked up three points.
Cardiff City, Burnley, Leeds United and Crystal Palace were also victorious on the first day of the campaign, but promotion hopefuls Preston North End and Wolverhampton Wanderers were both held.
Birmingham left several summer signings on the bench and it was a January recruit who put the hosts ahead at St Andrews.
On the half-hour, veteran defender Bruno N'Gotty, on his debut, showed his worth at the opposite end with a delightful ball into the box and DJ Campbell ghosted between defenders to head home from close range.
Colchester stunned Blues on 51 minutes, though, when Richard Garcia lashed a shot inside the near post after the home side failed to clear their lines.
Blues were then reduced to 10 men when Cameron Jerome endured a debut to forget after he was sent off for catching Karl Duguid in the face just minutes after coming on as a substitute.
Another substitute, however, proved much more effective as Nicklas Bendtner - on loan from Arsenal - drilled home on 79 minutes after getting a kind bounce in the box.
West Brom wasted a catalogue of chances in the first half against Hull, with Jonathan Greening coming closest to a goal when his effort was pushed on to the post.
Just as Hull appeared to coming into the contest, The Baggies struck as John Hartson marked his debut with a deft finish on 57 minutes.
Hartson killed off any thoughts of a Hull comeback late on when scoring his second goal with a composed finish.
Southend won League One last season and started their Championship campaign in ideal fashion with a goal on 14 minutes.
Lee Bradbury was brought down by Stoke keeper Steve Simonsen and the in-demand Freddy Eastwood tucked away the penalty.
Barnsley were given a short, sharp shock upon their return to the second tier after falling two goals behind at home to Cardiff after just 22 minutes.
The visitors took the lead on 19 minutes when former Tykes loanee Michael Chopra pulled the ball back for Joe Ledley to finish.
Just three minutes later and the lead was doubled when Steven Thompson smashed a thumping left-foot volley into the top corner.
The Tykes responded with a wonderful goal of their own on 31 minutes when Brian Howard's acrobatic attempt rocketed into the net.
Cardiff fluffed the chance of a third goal when Darren Purse's penalty was saved by Nick Colgan, who also kept out the rebound.
Andy Ritchie's men had opportunities to snare a point, with Marc Richards coming closest when his close-range effort bounced back off the crossbar.
At Home Park, two managers took charge of their teams for the first time in a competitive game as Plymouth Argyle entertained Wolverhampton Wanderers.
Ian Holloway's side drew first blood as Lilian Nalis and Tony Capaldi combined for Barry Hayles to score on his Plymouth debut on 35 minutes.
Mick McCarthy's Wolves levelled things up two minutes into the second half when Kevin O'Connor's shot took a heavy deflection off Matthias Doumbe and looped over Pilgrims keeper Luke McCormick.
Jim Magilton's competitive debut as a manager started with Ipswich striker Nicky Forster putting his team ahead at home to Crystal Palace.
Forster chased a long ball and cut inside before slotting confidently home on the half-hour mark, but Town were undone by a quick-fire double in the second half.
New Palace boss Peter Taylor galvanised his troops in the second period and the equaliser arrived on 58 minutes when Jobi McAnuff finished from an acute angle.
Only three minutes later and Palace were in front when Mark Kennedy's free kick picked out Mark Hudson, whose header was kept out by Shane Supple, only for Ipswich old boy James Scowcroft to tap in the rebound.
Robert Earnshaw missed a glut of chances during Norwich City's defeat at Leeds, who have not lost on the opening day since 1989.
Wales international Earnshaw had half-a-dozen good opportunities, the best of which saw him strike the post.
Leeds claimed the points through a 41st minute penalty when David Healy scored after Norwich debutant Lee Croft had felled Eirik Bakke.
Healy had earlier had a goal disallowed after latching on to an incisive through ball from Steve Stone.
Preston and Sheffield Wednesday were the only sides involved in a scoreless encounter on the opening day of the new season.
Chris Brunt thought he had given The Owls the lead at Deepdale with a neat finish, but the goal was chalked off after he was penalised for handball in the build-up.
On 57 minutes the visitors were reduced to 10 men when Lee Bullen was shown a straight red card for a two-footed challenge.
After a dire first half at Turf Moor, Burnley took the lead on 59 minutes through summer signing Steve Jones.
A terrible mix-up in the QPR defence presented Jones with the simple opportunity of finishing into an empty net.
There was no such fortune about Jones' second goal 10 minutes later when he fired home an absolute belter from 25 yards.
Earlier in the day, Luton Town had kicked off the new domestic season with a 2-0 home victory over Leicester City.
Leon Barnett put The Hatters ahead with his first senior goal on eight minutes after heading in Lewis Emanuel's corner.
Carlos Edwards wrapped up the win late on with a cool finish as Luton celebrated manager Mike Newell signing a new contract in style.
Click on the links below for an individual match summary:
Barnsley 1-2 Cardiff City
Birmingham City 2-1 Colchester United
Burnley 2-0 Queens Park Rangers
Ipswich Town 1-2 Crystal Palace
Leeds United 1-0 Norwich City
Luton Town 2-0 Leicester City
Plymouth Argyle 1-1 Wolverhampton Wanderers
Preston North End 0-0 Sheffield Wednesday
Southend United 1-0 Stoke City
West Bromwich Albion 2-0 Hull City