|Shittu 54||Venue: The Den
DANNY Shittu marked his return to Millwall's starting line up with the winning goal as the Lions saw off Cardiff City at The Den.
The Nigerian powerhouse settled matters when he headed home Shaun William's corner nine minutes after half-time.
Ian Holloway's side were good value for their win and spurned a host of chances to extend their lead during a dominant performance.
The visitors' best chance came at 0-0 when goalkeeper David Forde made an inspired stop to deny Adam Le Fondre after first parrying Craig Noone's drive.
Holloway had promised to freshen up his team after a draining midweek trip to Wigan and he was true to his word, making five changes.
There were three alterations in defence as Shittu, Mark Beevers and Matthew Briggs all started, while there were also recalls for Williams and Ed Upson.
The first half was dotted with half chances as both sides got into promising attacking positions.
In the seventh minute, Briggs's dangerous cross was cut out before Upson's follow up delivery into the box was headed clear as Millwall threatened for the first time.
After Williams sliced wide from the edge of the box, Beevers picked up an early booking for scything down Federico Macheda.
Peter Whittingham drilled the resulting free kick into the wall before Millwall broke down the other end and Upson's fired a half volley well wide.
Cardiff then spurned two opportunities in quick succession as John Brayford fired over the bar and Adam Le Fondre lobbed a tame effort onto the roof of the net.
Ricardo Fuller went close to scoring his third goal in his last two Den outings when Briggs sent a teasing ball into the box, but the striker couldn't connect with a diving header.
Lee Martin's free kick was glanced wide of the far post by Lee Gregory and Upson drove an effort off target as the Lions continued to edge proceedings.
But Forde kept the scores level with an astonishing double save at the other end, parrying Noone's drive before smothering Le Fondre's follow up.
McDonald then shot inches wide on the turn to bring a lively opening 45 minutes to a close with the score still 0-0.
After a subdued start to the second half, Shittu brought the game to life when he climbed above Macheda to bury Williams' hanging corner.
Minutes after going in front, Upson went close with a 20-yard blast following a clever set-piece routine.
It should have been 2-0 when Williams' raking pass found Gregory, who lofted the ball over Marshall but also the bar.
Gregory again spurned a guilt-edged chance to increase Millwall's lead when he fired wide of an unguarded net after Marshall parried McDonald's shot.
Cardiff's response to falling behind was limited to long-range efforts from Fabio and Anthony Pilkington, both of which were dealt with comfortably by Forde.
With the 90-minute mark approaching, the Lions again wasted a chance to put the game to bed when Upson's measured shot flew inches wide of the far post.
Gregory and sub Martyn Woolford both tested Marshall during four minutes of added time but one goal proved enough.