Nottingham Forest produced a battling performance to beat Millwall and take a valuable three points at home.
A confident looking Millwall hit the woodwork twice in the first half but Forest put in a positive performance and found the back of the net twice to go in at the break in the lead.
The pace of the second half didn't let up and when Millwall got one back Forest reacted well to increase their lead once more and defended well to keep it, as the away side fought back.
Forest, shooting towards the Trent End, started brightly, but the first real chance of the game came for Millwall from a cross in to James Henry who, with nobody else around, sent the ball crashing off the post from 12 yards out and luckily for Forest it came back out to Lee Camp.
And they came close again when the ball came off Henry to Andy Keogh whose volley wasn't far over the top of the crossbar.
Forest's first effort came from a cross by Adlene Guedioura from the right to Dexter Blackstock but his effort went across the face of goal and was always going wide.
They came closer after some good build up play which saw Chris Gunter make the break and feed the ball to Garath McCleary. His shot was diverted towards goal by Andy Reid and the ball went past the arms of a diving David Forde but just wide of the far post.
And they went in front in the 25th minute when Reid kept control of the ball on the left and took his time in sending it perfectly towards the far post where McCleary came in to head past Forde and into the corner of the net.
Another good break saw Guedioura made a run down the left and pick out Gunter wide on the right. He put a good cross into the box as Dexter Blackstock made the run in but Paul Robinson just beat him to it and put the ball out for a corner.
Forest doubled their lead when they won a free kick 25 yards out when Greg Cunningham made a superb run forward before being brought down just to the left of the D.Reid curled the ball into the box and it ended up going past the far post where Higginbottom volleyed it in from a tight angle.
Henry came close to getting one back, but the woodwork came to the rescue again when he rattled the underside of the crossbar with a powerful shot from 22 yards out.
Millwall put the Forest goal under pressure as the first half came towards its end but Forest defended in numbers to go in at the break with a clean sheet.
The second half started brightly with both sides creating chances and Millwall having the first chance when they made a break and Camp did well to get down low to catch Keogh's effort.
Forest created a superb chance when McCleary flicking the ball on beautifully for Gunter whose cross travelled right across the six-yard box but nobody could get on the end of it.
Millwall were quickly on the attack, and when Cunningham failed to clear in a crowded box Alan Dunne's shot was deflected out by Gunter.
A long-range shot by McCleary had plenty of power behind it and even though it went straight to Forde he struggled to catch it.
Millwall got a goal back after substitute Josh Wright's effort was deflected out off the crossbar and another substitute Darius Henderson found himself with plenty of space and time to send the ball into the back of the net from close range.
Forest threatened with a good cross in from the right by Gunter and Moussi got a touch on the ball but Robinson managed to put it out for a corner.
Forest got their third when Reid picked up the ball from midfield, saw that Forde was out of his goal and that three Forest players were offside so tried his luck and send the ball flying into the top corner from 25 yards out.
Millwall fought back and came close when Hamer Bouazza put the cross in and Robinson was not far off target when he put the ball onto the top of the net.
As Millwall continued to press forward Forest took the pressure off with a minute to go when Scott Wootton came on to replace Tudgay.
And with five minutes stoppage time to play Forest broke the pace of the game again with a double substitution in which Reid received a standing ovation when he came off for Joel Lynch and Ishmael Miller replaced Blackstock, who was also applauded by the supporters.
Forest: Camp, Gunter, Higginbotham, Chambers(C), Cunningham, McCleary, Moussi, Guedioura, Reid(Lynch, 90+3), Blackstock(Miller 90+4min), Tudgay(Wootton 90min)
Subs not used: Smith, McGugan,
Bookings: McCleary 43min, Cunningham 45min
Scorers: McCleary 25min, Higginbotham 38min, Reid 80min
Millwall: Forde, Dunne, Robinson(C), Trotter(Wright 45minHT), Bouazza, Barron(Smith 78min), Henry, Ward, Keogh, Abdou, Kane(Henderson 60min)
Subs not used: Allsop, Feeney,
Bookings: Henry 32min, Henderson 75min
Scorer: Henderson 64min
Referee: C Pawson
Attendance: 19,413 Away 1,188