THERE will be no repeat of last season’s FA Cup exploits for Millwall after the 2013 semi-finalists suffered a humiliating third round exit at League Two Southend.
Barry Corr put the Shrimpers in front midway through the first period before the floodlights went down and play ceased for 15 minutes.
Once resumed, Jermaine Easter was dismissed before Will Atkinson doubled the home side’s advantage on the stroke of half-time.
Michael Timlin added a third 12 minutes into the second half and although substitute Martyn Woolford pulled one back in the 64th minute, Ryan Leonard made it four deep into stoppage time.
The Lions made four changes to the XI which kicked off the New Year’s Day 3-1 home defeat To Leicester.
In came Easter, Jack Smith, Lee Martin and Danny Shittu, as Woolford, Mark Beevers and Scott McDonald dropped to the bench with Scott Malone rested.
Smith required an early period of treatment on the pitch after being bandaged up following what looked like an elbow from Corr.
Southend came close to breaking the deadlock three times in quick succession as David Forde denied Anthony Straker, Jack Smith cleared from Timlin and then Shittu hacked Corr’s effort off the line.
The League Two hosts broke the deadlock on 22 minutes after Millwall failed to clear, allowing John White’s delivery to pick out an unmaked Corr who headed home.
Only a super save by Forde kept out Atkinson’s 26th minute header but proceedings were then halted as the floodlights went out.
Play resumed a quarter of an hour later and Millwall were almost instantly back on terms when Martin burst forward but fired agonisingly over.
Forde was able to make a simple catch from Ben Coker’s header but tempers frayed as Nicky Bailey was yellow carded for a late lunge on Timlin moments before Millwall were reduced to 10-men on the stroke of half-time.
Easter was adjudged to have stamped on Coker, prompting the referee to dish out a straight red and leave the Lions really up against it.
And they were dealt a killer blow on the stroke of half-time as Atkinson burst clear and coolly beat Forde to give the Shrimpers a 2-0 interval advantage.
Martin made way for Woolford as the second period commenced but it was Southend who again went close, Shittu’s excellent tackle denying Timlin and then John White heading inches over the bar.
However, the third wasn’t long in coming and duly arrived on 57 minutes after Millwall failed to clear, gifting the ball to Timlin who drilled a low shot past Forde from inside the box.
Woolford reduced the deficit seven minutes later by volleying home Morison’s cross to give the 10-men visitors a lifeline.
Forde scrambled back to tip over Leonard’s audacious 40-yard chip and then bizarrely Woolford was booked for time wasting, despite Millwall trailing 3-1 with the clock ticking down.
Corr was unfortunate to see an 80th minute header hit the post with Forde beaten and although Shittu had a stoppage time header cleared off the line by Luke Prosser, it was Leonard who completed the route at the death smashed a shot into the top corner.
Follow us on Twitter@NewsShopperSprt
Millwall: Forde, Dunne, Shittu, Lowry, Smith (Marquis 78), Chaplow (Onyedinma 62), Bailey, Abdou, Martin (Woolford 46), Morison, Easter. Subs not used: Bywater, Wright, Beevers, McDonald. Att: 7,923 (2,212 Millwall)