BY RICHARD CAWLEY
Millwall eased their drop fears as they ensured West Brom’s long wait for a victory at The Den continued with a 2-0 victory.
Goals in either half from Ryan Tunnicliffe and a second celebrated by Ben Thompson – even though it may well go down as an Albion player who had the final touch – sealed the deal as the Lions collected a seventh Championship win at The Den this season.
Millwall have not lost to West Brom in the league on their patch since 1987. And this ended a four-game wait for a victory at home.
Ahmed Hegazi was sent off for a second bookable offence 10 minutes from time as the Baggies saw their three-game winning streak under caretaker boss James Shan snapped in SE16.
Jay Rodriguez missed a huge chance to bring the visitors level from the spot but the attacker – on 19 goals in the league – drove wide of the left post.
Millwall’s first goal will go down as goalkeeper error. Tunnicliffe’s shot had power but was straight at Sam Johnstone, squeezed under him.
It was his third goal of the season and it was the first time that the Lions have led at The Den in the Championship in 2019.
The winning margin could have been bigger with the excellent Lee Gregory unlucky not to make it 3-0 shortly after Thompson’s full-blooded cross was turned into the net with Hegazi possibly getting the last touch. The Lions’ top-scorer was denied by Johnstone after the keeper could not initially hold Thompson’s long-distance strike.
And the Lions’ tails were up after Tunnicliffe’s goal with Johnstone forced to push away Wallace’s curling strike, just before that both Jake Cooper and Ryan Leonard were denied from a corner.
But that two-goal cushion did come and it arrived on 67 minutes. Thompson, the standout Millwall player in a side who could all walk off the pitch feeling highly-satisfied, was right at the centre of it.
West Brom’s prospects of a comeback took a turn for the worse with 10 minutes to go as Hegazi was ruled to have brought down Gregory. Quite probably already a second caution of the afternoon, but the centre-back made sure by kicking the ball away.