Burton Albion suffered their second league defeat of the season to basement club Darlington after first half goals from Alan White and Josh Gray. Greg Pearson pulled one back with a penalty on his 25th birthday birthday but despite heavy second half pressure, the Brewers could not salvage a point.
Greg Pearson scored with a penalty kick in first half injury time to give the Brewers a much needed lift before the break. Darlington had moved into a 2-0 lead following goals from Josh Gray and Alan White.
Paul Peschisolido named an unchanged line up to face Darlington at the Pirelli Stadium. With two games in three days the Brewers boss had hinted he may make changes to his squad to face either Darlington or Bury. Jacques Maghoma took part in training on Friday for the first time since injuring his knee but he is yet to regain his match fitness. Michael Simpson completed an hour for the reserves earlier in the week and continued on the bench for the Brewers.
New Darlington manager Simon Davey took charge of the Quakers for the first time. The game also saw a return for goalkeeper Shane Redmond. The Northern Irish stopper spent the first half of this season on loan at the Brewers, making four first team appearances.
Greg Pearson should have given the Brewers a second minute lead. Shaun Harrad flicked on a Jimmy Phillips cross and Pearson, with the goal at his mercy, struck the inside of the post.
Russell Penn volleyed over after eight minute's following good play from Cleveland Taylor and Tom Parkes. It was the Brewers who had started the brighter with Harrad and Pearson causing the Darlington defence problems with their movement.
Darlington had their first cahnce of the game on 12 minutes. Gary Smith headed just over from Chris Moore's cross.
Darlington took the lead on 22 minutes through a powerful strike from Josh GRAY. A long ball was flicked round Tony James by Curtis Main into the path of Gray who fired past Krysiak with a first time finish.
Another cross from Moor caused trouble for the Brewers five minutes later. Krysiak flapped at the ball but Corbett managed to get enough on his header away to clear the danger, Gary Dempsey then had shot go wide as the Brewers failed to get any real control over the game.
And Darlington doubled their lead on 32 minutes when Alan WHITE headed in from a corner. Darlington deserved their lead as the Brewers performance thus far was leaving manager Paul Peschisolido visibly frustrated on the sidelines.
Jimmy Phillips was replaced by the returning Michael Simpson on 36 minutes as Peschisolido looked to regain a foothold in the game. Russell Penn switched to the left of the four man midfield.
Russell Penn had a headed effort well saved by Redmond on 38 minute's after a deep cross from Cleveland Taylor.
The Brewers were awarded a penalty on 45 minutes after Pearson was tripped in the area by Paul Arnison. PEARSON took the spot kick himself and sent Redmond the wrong way to give the Brewers a much needed boost before half time. The striker had now scored in four consecutive games for the Brewers.
Half time: Burton Albion 1 - 2 Darlington
Darlington had strong shouts for a penalty on 48 minutes, claiming a hand ball following Ian Miller's header back across goal. Referee Jock Waugh waved away the Darlington protests.
Andy Corbett picked out Shaun Harrad with a superb long ball on 51 minutes. Harrad cut inside but his shot had the sting taken out of it by a deflection on it's way through to Redmond.
The Brewers began to pressure Darlington a little more on the hour mark with a succession of corners but could not find a way through to the equaliser. Shaun Harrad was replaced by Steve Kabba.
Cleveland Taylor whipped a great cross across goal on 68 minutes but both Kabba and Pearson couldn't quite connect with their diving attempts.
Peschisolido made his thrid substitution on 73 minutes, replacing McGrath with Keith Gilroy.
Burtton were building up some sustained pressure on Darlington with Cleveland Taylor and Steve Kabba beginning to make a real impact on the game. The introduction of Gilroy also added more width to the Burton attack.
A snapshot from Kabba on 76 minutes forced Redmond into an athletic tip over the bar. Another cross from Taylor then caused more problems as Darlington failed to clear,
Taylor then drilled the ball low across goal on 78 minutes but no one could get the required touch to make it 2-2. For all the Brewers pressure they could not find a way through the resolute Darlington defence.
Despite late pressure on the Darlington goal the Brewers could find no way through and went down to their second defeat of the season to the basement team.
Full time: Burton Albion 1 - 2 Darlington
Brewers Man of the Match: Cleveland Taylor - Caused havoc in the second half with his dangerous crossing.
Scorers: Burton: Pearson 45+1 Darlington - Gray (22) White (32)
Referre: Mr J. Waugh
Booked: Darlington: Dempsey
Brewers: KRYSIAK, BOERTIEN, JAMES, MCGRATH (GILROY 73), CORBETT, HARRAD (KABBA 63), PENN, PHILLIPS (SIMPSON 36), PEARSON, TAYLOR, PARKES. SUBS: POOLE, WEBSTER, SIMPSON, GILROY, BOCO, KABBA, KELLY.
Darlington: REDMOND, ARNISON, WHITE, MILNE, MILLER, MOORE, DEMPSEY, GRAY, SMITH, MAIN (CONVERY 88) , PURCELL. SUBS: LIVERSIDGE, GROVES, CONVERY, MADDEN, MULLIGAN, SMITH, BYRNE.