Birmingham 0-2 Millwall: Ben Thompson double earns Lions a vital win
Millwall end losing run as Ben Thompson double sees off Birmingham at St Andrew's.
Last Updated: 13/03/19 11:02pm
Ben Thompson's double at Birmingham gave Millwall a vital win in their fight against relegation.
The midfielder struck twice in the first half to secure a 2-0 win as the game ended without any crowd trouble following Sunday's assault on Aston Villa's Jack Grealish at St Andrew's.
Millwall - who ended a run of four straight defeats - sit just a point above the Sky Bet Championship relegation zone after Rotherham's late win at QPR.
Thompson condemned 12th-placed Birmingham to a third straight defeat, their already slim play-off hopes fading.
Brighton boss Chris Hughton, a former Blues manager, watched on ahead of their FA Cup quarter final at Millwall on Saturday as the visitors cruised into a 2-0 lead.
First, Neil Harris' side opened the scoring after 13 minutes when they broke after Birmingham failed to make the most of a free-kick.
With the hosts exposed Thompson swapped passes with Lee Gregory and fired in low from 16 yards.
Che Adams then forced David Martin into a smart near-post save as Blues looked for an instant response.
But they should have fallen further behind after 19 minutes when Ben Marshall lobbed over with just Lee Camp to beat follow Gary Gardner's loose pass.
Yet the visitors did not have to wait long to double their lead as a second arrived after 32 minutes.
Again it was dubious defending from Birmingham as Thompson was given time and space to cut in from the right and roll beyond Camp from six yards.
A response never came from the hosts, although Connor Mahoney's drive was disallowed for offside soon after the re-start.
Gary Gardner drilled wide after 63 minutes and substitute Lukas Jutkiewicz nodded off target.
And the Lions offered little in the second half but held on despite late Birmingham pressure.
Garry Monk: "There's no excuses from us. Simply, it wasn't good enough. We're in a sticky patch. A lot of hard work has gone into the season and that needs to be cemented with a strong finish.
"I'm hugely disappointed, we were well below the levels we are capable of. After an initial bright start, it was full of errors and it proved costly. It was poor, too many mistakes, too many individual errors. You cannot make those mistakes and expect to come back and get a result."
Neil Harris: "There were some very unfair articles written at the weekend which criticised me and the players. Some were very unjust and it hurt me and the players. We wanted a response. It's tough to win games at Championship level. I thought the lads were outstanding. Ben Thompson will get the plaudits but he will be the first to admit the team were excellent.
"We had a huddle at the end to show our solidarity an it was an opportunity to say 'well done, those are the standards we have to set'. It was to show everyone that you can criticise us all you want but we're a strong group and we do our best every day."