League 2 safety was assured for the Brewers following a 1-1 draw with Southend United as both sides finished the game with ten men. Although Accrington's home win against Barnet rendered Albion's result irrelevant a battling draw extended Albion's unbeaten run to five games.
Jacques Maghoma was the man to see red for Albion for swearing and gesturing to the home crowd after a terrible challenge from Lee Sawyer and the Southend man also saw red later for a second yellow. This was all after Barry Corr had given the Shrimpers a third minute lead only for former Southend loanee Scott Malone to notch his first Football League goal before half time.
After the rare luxury of a free midweek after the Easter fixtures the Brewers reported back with no new injury problems and were therefore able to name an unchanged side for their first ever visit to Roots Hall.
That meant that Scott Malone, a former Southend loanee, kept his place on the left side of midfield with Jacques Maghoma on the right. The fit again Adam Bolder had to settle for a place on the substitutes bench as the impressive pairing of John McGrath and Russell Penn continued in the centre of midfield.
Southend after a troubled start to the season were out of the running for the play-offs but had plenty to play for to impress manager Paul Sturrock and earn contracts for next season.
Albion found themselves behind inside three minutes. A quick raid down the left earned the hosts a corner when Darren Moore sliced the ball behind attempting to clear and from the resulting corner, Barry CORR, Southend's leading scorer found the net with a firm header from Ryan Hall's flagkick.
Pearson just failed to make contact with a teasing cross but it was the hosts who posed the greater threat with Sean Clohessy swinging in a dangerous free kick in the 12th minute after Aaron Webster was fortunate to escape a yellow card for a rash foul on Ryan Hall.
Burton were almost undone in the 16th minute as Southen raided again down the left. Blair Sturrock worked room for a cross from the edge of the penalty area that found skipper Craig Easton in the middle but his attempted overhead kick was deflected out for a corner by Aaron Webster.
The Brewers continued to look nervous with John McGrath wasting Albion's first corner, putting it straight out of play and Adam Legzdins fumbling a long range effort from Corr although to be fair to the usually relliable keeper it took a deflection off McGrath on its way through to him.
Greg Pearson was close to an equaliser in the 21st minute latching onto a Calvin Zola flick on and forcing a good save from Glem Morris low to his right. Zola was also close trying to turn straight onto Webster's free kick but he just failed to make contact allowing Morris to gratefully grab the ball.
Almost from nowehere the Brewers equalised in the 28th minute. Malone and Maghoma swapped wings and the two combined to play a neat one two on the edge of the Southend box to allow MALONE to nick an eight yard shot under the Southend keeper for his first goal in Albion colours. It also brought to an end Southend's proud record of four successive home clean sheets and 460 minutes without conceding at Roots Hall.
Things almost got better in the 36th minute as a sublime piece of skill from Jacques Maghoma sent his scampering away into the Southend penalty area but with Pearson and Zola either side he tried to do it all on his own and only managed to win a corner.
The former Spurs trainee did try his luck from outside the box shortly after but although his shot was on target it lacked the power to beat Morris.
Half time: Southend United 1-1 Burton Albion
Calvin Zola had the first real shot in anger in the second half after good runs from Maghoma and Malone but his effort from just inside the box flew well wide of the target.
Southend began to crank up the pressure and Bilel Mohsni was close to putting the hosts back in front in the 51st minute. A low centre from Clohessy had Albion's defence stretched but the legs of Legzdins were enough to keep out the shot but it gave Southend hope and they camped themselves in and around the Burton box.
An ambitious free kick from range, charged down by Russ Penn allowed Albion to break free of their defensive shackles and when Webster was tripped just outside the box Malone fired a curling free kick well over the crossbar.
Corr continued to cause problems for Albion's rearguard and on 57 minutes he got up well above Tony James to head down Clohessy's cross with Darren Moore getting in a vital toe-end to concede a corner.
Just before the hour mark the Brewers made their first change with Adam Bolder returning to the fray in place of Greg Pearson. The former Millwall midfielder immediatlely dropping in alongside John McGrath in the 4-2-3-1 formation.
Moore again had to come to the rescue of his defence as Corr got up above James with the experienced defender putting the ball over his own crossbar at the expense of another corner.
At the other end Maghoma almost capitalised on a poor clearance from Mohsni to drive infield and let fly with a drive that was not far wide of the target.
Malone, enjoying himself against his former side, raided down the left again and put it a decent cross to the far post that had to be cleared off the head of Zola for a corner.
Just as the game began to peter out into nothingness a needlessly crunching tackle from substitute Lee Sawyer sent Maghoma crashing to the ground. The young midfielder was lucky to only see yellow for his tackle while Maghoma eventually got gingerly to his feet.
Maghoma then got shown a red card for aiming abusive gestures at the crowd after receiving stick from them following the horrendous challenge of Sawyer.
Legzdins, a virtual spectator for most of the second half, kept Albion on level terms with a superb double save from Corr. The ball was bouncing around in the Burton box and Corr twice saw Albion's keeper scramble the ball away with Mhsni, now operating as a second striker, lashing the rebound well over the crossbar.
Southend sensed an opportunity against the ten men to grab a morale boosting final home win of the season but the Brewers defence held firm to secure the point. Not before the hosts had also been reduced to ten men. Sawyer, belatedly saw red for a late challenge on McGrath that earned him a second yellow card.
SOUTHEND: Morris, Clohessy, Mohsni, Grant (Sawyer, 41), Easton (Coughlan, 78), Corr, Hall, Prosser, Sturrock (Crawford, 66), Barker, Ferdinand. Substitutes: Comminges, Evans, Asante, Woodyard.
ALBION: Legzdins; Corbett, James, Moore, Webster; Maghoma, Penn, McGrath, Malone; Pearson (Bolder, 59), Zola (Winnall, 87). Substitutes: Poole, Walker, Phillips, Preen, Parkes.
Referee: Mr. R.Madley (West Yorkshire)
GOALS: Southend - Corr (3); Albion - Malone (28)
Attendance: 5,730 (293 away)