Goals from Dwight Gayle and Kieran Gibbs secured a 2-0 win for West Bromwich Albion against Millwall in the Sky Bet Championship at The Hawthorns on Saturday afternoon.
The Lions more than matched - and sometimes bettered - their lofty opponents in spells of a much-improved performance, but were undone by the fortunately-placed Gayle and a smart finish from left-back Gibbs in the second-half.
Millwall boss Neil Harris made four changes to the side that lost 2-0 at Queens Park Rangers on Wednesday night, as Mahlon Romeo, Byron Webster - for his first Championship start since his return from injury - Steve Morison and Jiri Skalak - for his full Championship debut - replaced Conor McLaughlin, Murray Wallace, Lee Gregory and Aiden O'Brien, who all dropped to the bench.
Eight minutes in a combination of Jake Livermore and Matt Phillips looked to open up the Millwall defence, but Webster was there to make a vital interception as The Baggies worked the ball inside the penalty area.
The Lions, on the other hand, were getting the ball into dangerous areas but couldn't quite make it pay, with the final ball being cut out by the Albion back line.
Millwall were certainly in the game and had a chance to take the lead in the 20th minute, but after Jed Wallace battled his way through a crowd of bodies, the winger skewed his effort over the crossbar.
On 25 minutes West Brom carved out an opening but Jay Rodriguez's cross was bundled wide by Harvey Barnes. An end-to-end encounter continued to ebb and flow with the next chance going the way of the home side - Barnes slicing wide.
On 33 minutes Jed Wallace nearly opened the scoring in spectacular fashion after Sam Johnstone raced out of his goal and mucked up his clearance - the winger tried his luck from around 30 yards out, but with the ball heading towards the net, Craig Dawson was there to head off the line.
Tom Bradshaw and Jed Wallace were causing Albion problems and the two combined with 37 minutes on the clock but the ball was cleared. A minute later Skalak crossed for Morison but the striker's first-time shot was saved. Livermore fired wide for the hosts five minutes before the half-time break.
The Baggies started the second-half brightly and forced a duo of corners, but The Lions' defence held firm. Jed Wallace tried his luck from distance shortly after the hour-mark and ended up finding the 2,299 Lions fans situated behind the goal at The Hawthorns.
The atmosphere inside the ground upped a notch as the final half-hour got underway, with Gibbs slicing a shot wide on 64 minutes. Four minutes later West Brom took the lead through Gayle as, after Ben Amos initially pulled off an outstanding save from a powerful header, the striker was well-placed to score from close range.
With 76 minutes on the clock, it was two. The ball broke to Gibbs on the left-hand side, who took a touch and guided a low shot past Amos into the far corner of the net.
Ten minutes from time Jed Wallace collected the ball on the edge of his own box and run forward to set up substitute Aiden O'Brien but the Irishman curled wide.
West Bromwich Albion: Johnstone, Gibbs, Bartley, Livermore, Phillips (Mears 65'), Barnes (Hoolahan 78'), Brunt, Gayle (Adarabioyo 87'), Rodriguez, Dawson, Hegazi. Subs not used: Myhill, Robson-Kanu, Barry, Field.
Scorer: Gayle 68', Gibbs 76'
Millwall: Amos, Meredith (Elliott 84'), Cooper, Williams, J. Wallace, Romeo, Bradshaw (Gregory 74'), Webster, Morison, Skalak (O'Brien 72'), Leonard. Subs not used: Martin, McLaughlin, M. Wallace, Karacan, Elliott.
Referee: Tim Robinson
Attendance: 23,563 (2,299)