|Gregory 54||Venue: The Den
|Donaldson 32, Cotterrill 40, Thomas 84|
MILLWALL suffered their fourth defeat in five matches as their woeful run of results against Birmingham City continued.
The Lions have not beaten the Blues since 1996 and that did not look like changing after the visitors opened up a two-goal lead before the break.
Clayton Donaldson tapped in a simple chance before David Cotterill beat David Forde with a long-range free kick as Ian Holloway's side made a disastrous start to the game.
After two half-time substitutions, Millwall improved and regained a foothold in the match when Lee Gregory scored his first goal for the club in the 54th minute.
But with the Lions pushing forward for an equaliser, the Blues added a third goal on the counter attack when sub Wes Thomas converted Cotterill's left-wing cross.
As he had strongly hinted in the build up to the game, boss Ian Holloway made a change of formation as well as personnel.
Millwall lined up in a midfield diamond with Gregory and Mathias Ranegie starting in tandem up front. Justin Hoyte also came into the side at right back.
Nicky Bailey (calf) was unavailable, while Martyn Woolford and Ricardo Fuller dropped to the bench as Holloway made three alterations in total to his XI.
The Lions created the first chance of the evening when Scott McDonald fired wide on the half volley from Ranegie's flick-on in just the second minute.
Ranegie then looped a header over the bar before Paul Caddis' dangerous cross at the other end narrowly evaded two Birmingham attackers in the penalty area.
In the 12th minute, Scott Malone's looping cross with the outside of his foot dropped to Ranegie at the far post but the Watford loanee could only head into the side netting.
McDonald then snatched at a guilt-edged opening on the half-hour mark, stabbing wide from Ranegie's knock-down inside the box.
That miss proved costly when Birmingham took the lead moments later.
Cotterill scampered in behind Millwall's back four unchallenged before squaring for Donaldson, who applied a simple finish from barely a yard out.
And Cotterill, who held contract talks with the Lions in the summer, then hammered in a 30-yard free kick past Forde to make it 2-0.
The hosts, who got progressively worse as the half wore on and were booed off at the break, brought on Aiden O'Brien for the second 45 minutes.
Richard Chaplow also came on for Hoyte at the interval and filled in at right back.
The two subs combined to good effect almost immediately as O'Brien teed up Chaplow for a cross which was glanced well over the bar.
But O'Brien then touched on Ranegie's flick to Gregory, who beat goalkeeper Darren Randolph to the ball and stabbed it into the net from 12 yards.
Gregory and Beevers both then saw headers held by Randolph as the crowd, brought to life by Millwall's goal, sensed an equaliser.
Ranegie hobbled off to be replaced by Ricardo Fuller and the striker went close to grabbing the leveller when he burst into the area only to sky his drive from a tight angle.
But after Donaldson had missed an open goal, Birmingham made the points safe on their next attack as Thomas ghosted in behind Beevers to side-foot home from six yards.
That prompted a mass exodus from the stands and while Beevers' header was tipped over and Williams hit the post in the dying stages, the game was already over as a contest.