LONDON: The new English season began with FA Cup holders launching their promotion bid with a 4-0 win away to Barnsley.

Lower division football began clear of the Premier shadow. Wigan face Manchester United in the Community Shield next Sunday (Aug 11) with the elite kicking off the following weekend.

Wigan were relegated last season after winning the FA Cup but Wembley match-winner Ben Watson was one of the men on target against Barnsley at Oakwell.

Watson gave Wigan a half-time lead and the second half saw further strikes from summer signing Grant Holt, Leon Barnett and Shaun Maloney. Barnsley were 2-0 down when they were reduced to 10 men by the sending-off of Dale Jennings.

The other two relegated clubs both enjoyed winning starts.

Queens Park Rangers, favourites for promotion, beat Sheffield Wednesday 2-1 despite conceding an early goal to Atdhe Nuhiu while Reading also came from behind to win 2-1 at home to Ipswich.

Promoted Yeovil who, playing at this level for their first time in their history, claimed a 1-0 win at Millwall thanks to Ed Upson’s late strike.