An entertaining match at the Pirelli Stadium ended in a 1-1 draw, Luke Murphy cancelling out Jacques Maghoma's first half strike. Burton Albion dominated the first half and fully deserved their lead through the excellent Maghoma, but Dario Gradi's men came back into the game in the second half and in the end deserved a share of the points.
Ryan Austin delivered another towering performance at the heart of the Brewers defence as he continues his comeback.
Paul Peschisolido brought in Jimmy Phillips to replace Lewis Young in the only change to the side which drew 3-3 at Rotherham United last weekend. As a substitute Phillips was instrumental in the second half fight back at the Don Valley Stadium.
Ryan Austin kept his place in central defence after Darren Moore failed to recover in time, with Nathan Stanton still missing with a hamstring injury. It was a return against their fomer clubs for both Austin and Adam Legzdins, with the latter making the switch to the Pirelli Stadium in the summer.
Crewe lined up with former Brewers loanee Lee Bell in their starting eleven. However Albion favourite John Brayford is no longer part of Dario Gradi's set up after moving to Derby County in the transfer window.
Both matches between these sides finished 2-1 to Crewe last season, with Clayton Donaldson scoring a late winner at the Pirelli Stadium.
The Brewers first strike on goal came from John McGrath in the 4th minute. Jimmy Phillips draggeda cross back from the left byline for Shaun Harrad, who turned and laid the ball off for McGrath to shoot powerfully straight at Rhys Taylor.
Crewe threatened minutes later but a superb block tackle in the area by Ryan Austin prevented Shaun Miller from getting a shot on goal.
Richard Walker then had a chance in the eighth minute, he latched onto to Penn's ball down the right and cut inside his defender before firing his shot wide. It had been a lively opening with both sides looking to attack from the outset. A corner from Jimmy Phillips a minute later flashed across goal but lacked that telling touch to turn it goalwards.
The Brewers had a great chance to take the lead in the 15th minute. Aaron Webster surged down the left past two Crewe defenders, his cross came back off the keeper straight to Walker whose shot from three yards was deflected wide.
Burton had made an impressive opening half hour to the match with Maghoma, McGrath and Penn all having further shooting opportunities. The pace and power of Jacques Maghoma was causing the Crewe defence problems down the right and the trickery of Jimmy Phillips was also giving them plenty of problems.
Crewe were denied an opening goal by the referee in the 39th minute. Matt Mitchel-King flicked on a freekick past Legzdins and Joel Grant nodded the ball into the unguarded net. The Crewe celebrations were short lived though, with the linesman flagging for an offside. Mitchel-King was injured in the process and shortly replaced by Matt Tootle.
And the Brewers took the lead in the 44th minute. Jacques MAGHOMA raced onto Walker's touch who shot powerfully into the top right of the net. It was no less than the Brewers had deserved after creating a number of openings in the first 45 minutes.
Half time: Burton Albion 1 - 0 Crewe Alexandra
Crewe began the second half well and threatened early on when Lee Bell chipped in a free kick cross from the right in the 48th minute. Ryan Austin did well to clear but the danger wasn't over and Jimmy Phillips had to clear once more, this time the young winger kicking into touch.
Harrad almost grabbed a rare headed goal in the 57th minute following Phillips' good cross from the left. Harrad looped his effort just over the bar. Crewe then had a good chance of their own when the ball fell to Luke Murphy at the far post after a long Lee Bell free kick. Murphy failed to get a proper connection on his shot and the ball was cleared.
Paul Peschisolido waited until the 62nd minute to make his first change. Greg Pearson came on to replace Richard Walker and partner Harrad up front.
Crewe were level in the 63rd minute through Luke MURPHY. Donaldson crossed from the left to Murphy at the far post who turned past Phillips to fire a low left footed shot in off the far post. Burton could have been back ahead within two minutes but Andy Corbett couldn't get his far post header on target after Phillips' cross.
Penn's burst forwards was ended by a synical foul by Tootle in the 69th minute, earning him a booking. McGrath flighted in the freekick with the ball almost breaking to Phillips but David Artell cleared to safety.
Crewe were beginning to put more pressure on the Brewers Donaldson troubling the Burton back line. Dario Gradi had introduced16 year old Nick Powell in place of Joel Grant, the youngster adding plenty of pace up front.
Lewis Young was brought on for Jimmy Phillips for the final ten minutes.
The game continued in an open fashion with both sides pressing for a winner. Maghoma once again powered his way to the byline but his cross was gathered by Taylor. The pace of Lewis Young was also proving a test for Danny Blanchett at left back. But Crewe were still dangerous and it took Tony James to block a goalbound shot from Matt Tootle in the 85th minute.
Crewe finished strongly, pressing throughout the four minutes of added time but the Brewers held strong to earn a point.
Full time: Burton Albion 1 - 1 Crewe Alexandra
Scorers: Burton: Maghoma (43) Crewe: Murphy (63)
Referee: Mr M. Brown
Booked: Burton: Austin (39) Penn (60) McGrath (80) Crewe: Tootle (69)
Brewers: LEGZDINS, WEBSTER, JAMES, MCGRATH, CORBETT, HARRAD, WALKER (PEARSON 62), AUSTIN, PENN, PHILLIPS (YOUNG 81), MAGHOMA, Subs: POOLE, BOERTIEN, ELLISON, PEARSON, YOUNG, PREEN, GROCOTT.
Crewe:TAYLOR, BLANCHETT, WESTWOOD, ARTEL, ADA, DONALDSON, MURPHY, MILLER (MOORE 90), GRANT (POWELL 71), BELL, MITCHEL-KING (TOOTLE 43), Subs: GARRETT, TOOTLE, ZOLA, MOORE, LEITH-SMITH, DUGDALE, POWELL