Charlton Athletic were denied a dream start to life back in the Championship while Leeds United and Blackpool enjoyed the opening day of the new season.
Elsewhere, Owen Coyle's problems deepened at Bolton Wanderers but there were wins for Hull City, Barnsley, Leicester City, Nottingham Forest and Watford.
Last season's League One champions, Charlton, looked set to make a perfect start to the new campaign as Leon Cort's 82nd minute goal stunned Birmingham City at St Andrew's but Nikola Zigic snatched an even later equaliser in a 1-1 draw.
In the lunchtime kick-off, Luciano Becchio's 17th minute header gave Neil Warnock's Leeds the points in their 1-0 win over relegated Wolverhampton Wanderers.
Blackpool are among the contenders for promotion and a return to the Premier League after only suffering defeat in last season's play-offs and Ian Holloway's men underlined their credentials with a 2-0 victory over Millwall at The Den.
In the wake of last season's relegation from the top flight, Bolton boss Coyle endured a day to forget when he returned to former club Burnley and suffered a 2-0 defeat.
A late goal from substitute Jay Simpson gave Hull City a 1-0 win over Brighton & Hove Albion at the KC Stadium.
Middlesbrough's pre-season optimism was crushed at Oakwell as Craig Davies' goal gave Barnsley all the points.
Captain Wes Morgan's goal in the opening six minutes of the second half and a later effort from Andy King gave Leicester a 2-0 opening-day victory over Peterborough United at the King Power Stadium.
The new era at Nottingham Forest under Kuwaiti owners and boss Sean O'Driscoll got off to a winning start in the league after a 1-0 victory over Bristol City.
Two goals from Owen Garvan, one from the penalty spot, were not enough for Crystal Palace as Watford scored twice in the last two minutes to snatch a dramatic 3-2 win at Selhurst Park.
Derby County stormed into a two-goal lead in the opening half-an-hour against Sheffield Wednesday at Pride Park but Nigel Clough's home side crumbled under second-half pressure as Reda Johnson's 90th minute goal ensured a 2-2 draw.
Colin Kazim-Richards announced himself in style with a goal for Steve Kean's Blackburn Rovers but Ipswich Town fought back for a 1-1 draw at Portman Road.