Burton Albion laid to rest another of their unwanted records securing a first ever win at the Crown Ground against Accrington Stanley.
A goal in each half from strikers Shaun Harrad and Greg Pearson proved enough to avenge one of Albion's most disappointing home reverses of the season and push the Brewers back into the top half of the league 2 table. It was not the prettiest and spectacular of Albion's victories this season but it was undoubtedly one of their most hard earned.
Paul Peschisolido made just one change for the rearranged trip to old Conference adversaries Accrington Stanley. Pearson was rewarded for coming up with the equaliser against Chesterfield on Saturday with a starting place. Steve Kabba made way, dropping to the substitutes bench.
Downpours during the day made the pitch very awkward and Dean Winnard misjudged the condition early on going into the referee's book for a challenge on Cleveland Taylor less than two minutes into the game.
Flowing football was nigh on impossible given the conditions but Albion created an opening in the ninth minute, Shaun Harrad getting free down the right and crossing into the middle. Strike partner Greg Pearson could not get on the end of it but the ball flew dangerously through the Stanley six yard box.
Artur Krysiak showed why the conditions were so dicey needing two attempts to safely gather a James ryan cross at his near post.
Harrad had the right idea in the 17th minute hitting a speculative shot from distance that Ian Dunbavin gathered in and shortly afterwards Greg Pearson turned smartly in the box only to see a shot blocked.
The wings looked the best bet for any free flowing moves and Harrad and Jimmy Phillips almost set up Pearson for another chance with Stanley just about clearing their lines.
Robert Grant had the first real attempt on the Burton goal from a set piece after Andy Proctor had adjudged to have been fouled even though it looked like he slipped. From 30 yards Grant curled an effort wide which Krysiak watched go wide of the target.
Albion went straight up the other end and took the lead with a superb goal. Cleveland Taylor stole a march on the right wing and slung in a great low cross that evaded the defenders and fell nicely for Shaun HARRAD to slide the ball past Ian Dunbavin for his seventeenth goal of the season.
Accrington Stanley won the first corner of the match in the 34th minute and some industrious work from Ryan. The young winger cut inside and hit a low shot that momentarily caused concern in the Brewers back four. Krysiak had to make a good save low down at the feet of Grant moments later and shortly after the Polish stopper was grateful to centre half Tony James who cleared the ball off Grant's toes just as he looked set to equalise.
The hosts continued to press and were closer than ever when Darran Kempson skimmed the crossbar with a header in a crowded penalty area.
The Brewers had a let off in the 42nd minute. Tom Parkes was penalised for a foul on Grant 35 yards out and when Krysiak spilled Ryan's free kick Andy Procter looked certain to equalise but inexplicably missed the target from just to the side of the goal.
Half time - Accrington Stanley 0 - 1 Burton Albion
Stanley started the second half as they finished the first, applying pressure to the Albion goal and twice the Brewers had to survive frantic scrambles in their penalty area to keep out the hosts, clearly given a half time roasting from manager John Coleman.
Luke Joyce was the second man to find himself in referee Booth's notebook after a mistimed challenge on Greg Pearson in the centre circle six minutes into the second period.
John McGrath released Harrad for a run at goal in the 55th minute but with support alongside him he chose to cut inside and shoot, his shot blocked by a retreating Phil Edwards.
Grant went to ground under a challenge from Parkes in the 56th minute as Stanley continued to hunt an equaliser but referee Booth adjudged Parkes' tackle to be perfectly fair, a good job as Grant would have been clean through on goal had it not been.
Albion made their first substitution just after the hour mark and it was a straight swap on the right side of midfield with former Stanley favourite Rommy Boco introduced in place of Cleveland Taylor.
Luke Joyce fired into the side netting from 20 yards and almost instantly Albion went up the other end with Russ Penn firing wide from a similar distance.
Penn's effort was a rare moment of attacking promise for the Brewers as Stanley continued to be the more likely side to score the next goal. Krysiak was grateful to get everything behind the ball when John Miles guiding a header on target in the 69th minute.
Albion changed personnel on the left wing with 18 minutes to go as Aaron Webster replaced Jimmy Phillips and moments later Stanley were almost level. Substitute Gary King found space in the box and when the ball was whipped in from the right the youngster could not find the target from 12 yards.
After soaking up some pressure from the hosts Albion hit them with a sucker punch. Stanley had just had a goal disallowed for pushing in the penalty area at a corner. Miles forced a save at Krysiak's near post and the keeper turned provider. Phil Edwards misjudged the keeper's punt up the field and that allowed Greg PEARSON to run on and stroke home from fifteen yards.
It proved to be the striker's last touch of the game as he was immediately replaced to give Shaun Kelly a Brewers debut. The former Chester defender was deployed in front of the back four to give some added protection in the closing stages.
Paul Boertien found himself in the book for a foul on Gary King as Accrington tried in vain to rescue something out of the game.
The home side had late shouts for a penalty turned down when the ball seemed to strike Webster on the hand but appeals were turned away and Albion safely negotiated the last few minutes to record a satisfying clean sheet and away victory.
ACCRINGTON: Ian Dunbavin, Tom Lees (Sean McConville, 78), Darran Kempson, Phil Edwards, Dean Winnard, James Ryan, Andy Procter (Gary King, 66), Luke Joyce, John Miles, Billy Kee, Robert Grant. Substitutes: Dean Bouzanis, John Mulllin, Peter Murphy, Christopher Turner, Johnny Flynn.
ALBION: Artur Krysiak, Andy Corbett, Tony James, Tom Parkes, Paul Boertien; Cleveland Taylor (Romuald Boco, 62), Russell Penn, John McGrath, Jimmy Phillips (Aaron Webster, 72); Shaun Harrad, Greg Pearson (Shaun Kelly, 80). Substitutes: Kevin Poole, JamesKnowles, Steve Kabba.
Referee: Mr. R.Booth (Mansfield)
GOALS: ALBION - Harrad (27), Pearson (79)
Bookings: ACCRINGTON - Winnard (foul on Taylor) 2 mins, Joyce (foul on Pearson) 52 mins. BURTON - Boertien (foul on King) 86 mins.
Albion man of the match: Tony James - nothing was going to get past Albion's cultured centre half on a difficult night for defenders.