Swindon Town extended their winning run to ten games as Albion's run went the other resulting in a tenth straight game without a win. A resilient first half performance saw Albion level at the break but two second half goals in four minutes from substitute Ronan Murray and experienced striker Paul Benson were enough to ensure that the Robins continued their march at the top of the table.
Tony James was one of four changes made by the Brewers as they faced the daunting prospect of facing in form League 2 leaders Swindon Town at the County Ground. The experienced defender was part of a much changed back four that saw Andy Corbett also come back into the side at right back with loan defender Callum Driver switching to left back in place of Danny Blanchett. Nathan Stanton was the only member of Saturday's back four to survive unscathed amongst the changes. Paul Peschisolido opted to stick with the midfield three of Jack Dyer, Adam Bolder and John McGrath but there were more changes up front as Justin Richards returned to spearhead the attack flanked by Chris Palmer an the recalled Cleveland Taylor.
After some early midfield exchanges it was the home side that produced the first moment of real danger. Luke Rooney, a January signing from Gillingham, swung in a dangerous cross from the left wing looking for Paul Benson but the ball seemed to skim off Tony James head although the referee awarded nothing more than a goal kick to the Brewers.
Benson, the former Dagenham and Charlton striker was almost through on goal after twelve minutes after some neat passing sent him away but a superb recovery tackle from Nathan Stanton on the edge of the penalty area denied him even getting in a shot on goal.
Swindon were constantly trying to get the ball forward as quickly as they could. None more so that when skipper Paul Caddis picked up the ball off his goalkeeper and advanced before finding Simon Ferry on the right who advanced into the penalty area before drilling a low shot beyond Atkins but wide of the far post as well. Influential midfielder Matt Ritchie was not afrraid to try from distance and moments later he let fly with a shot that whistled over the crossbar from 30 yards.
Albion struggled to break free from their defensive shackles but when they did it was Cleveland Taylor who offered the best outlet as he looked lively on the right side of Albion's front three.
Jack Dyer went into the referee's notebook on 22 minutes after he was late on Simon Ferry inside Swindon's own half. The young midfielder's third yellow card in as many matches.
Swindon played a short passage of the first half with ten men after Jonathan Smith picked up a head wound. After about five minutes Swindon were back up to full strength as Oliver Risser was introduced in his place.
Thirty six minutes in and a chance came for Swindon again this time from a set piece. The dangerous Ritchie whipped in a dangerous inswinging free kick and Joe Devera was not that far away at the back post as the ball slid wide of the post and out to safety.
It took until 40 minutes for the home side to win the first corner of the match but it was ultimately an opportunity wasted as Devera headed the ball into the ground but over the cross bar as it bounced up.
Once one corner came it was the signal for a flurry of them and from the last one of the half Swindon took it short and skipper Paul Caddis let fly with a rocket of a shot that forced Atkins into a meaningful save pushikng the ball up and over his crossbar.
Half time: Swindon Town 0-0 Burton Albion
The home side came out of the traps firing on all cylinders after the break and a corner after just forty five seconds caused consternation in the Brewers defence as John McGrath seemed to head the ball back towards his own goal and Nathan Stanton had to head off the line. More nervy defending ensued as Swindon looked for an early reassuring goal with Alan Connell getting the ball stuck under his feet allowing Albion to smuggle the ball away from danger and mooments later the normally ruthless Benson put a header wide of the target.
Connell was to play no further part in the game as he was substituted in favour of former Ipswich youngster Ronan Murray. The change paid almost immediate dividends as within four minutes of coming on the young forward pounced at the far post to break the deadlock. Italian full back Alessandro Cibocchi swung a dangerous ball into the box where Benson did well to head the ball down and MURRAY had the simple task of nodding home at the far post to break Albion's stubborn resistance.
Four minutes later and it was two as Swindon went for the jugular. The tricky Rooney got the better of Corbett on the right side of Albion's penalty area and his teasing low centre was easy for BENSON to convert from close range as the cross evaded Ross Atkins.
With Jimmy Phillips already on for Chris Palmer in the wake of the first goal Albion made a second change with young striker Adi Yussuff brought on in place of Adam Bolder as the Brewers reverted to a more conventional 4-4-2 formation.
Phillips was off target with Albion's best chance of the eveningas good closing down by McGrath won possession in midfield and as the young winger took aim inside the box he disapointingly volleyed wide from 15 yards out.
Swindon then wasted another good chance when James' headed ball back to Atkins fell short and the keeper had to come out smartly to deny Murray at close quarters.
Rooney continued to look dangerous and on 75 minutes he teased his way into the box before firing narrowly wide of the post. It was his last action as he was soon substituted by Raffaele De Vita. At the same time John McGrath came off after taking an earlier knock and he was replaced by Andres Gurrieri.
Phillips picked up a yellow card for a foul on Caddis but as time ran down the home side were content with their evening's work and they looked to pick off the Brewers when the chance arose. Yussuf threatened to make things interesting when he got on the ball inside the box but after trying to cut inside he delayed his shot too long and the defence were able to regroup and clear their lines.
It was the last real chance of the game although Swindon had corner towards the end that might have seen them increase their lead. A battling performance from the Brewers on the night but ultimately no points as the wait for a first win of 2012 goes on.
SWINDON: Foderingham, Devera, Caddis, Ferry, Benson, Ritchie, McCormack, Connell (Murray, 50), Rooney (De Vita, 78), Smith (Risser, 29), Cibocchi. Substitutes: Kennedy, Cox.
BURTON: Atkins; Corbett, James, Stanton, Driver; Dyer; Bolder (Yussuf, 63), McGrath (Gurrieri, 78); Taylor, Richards, Palmer (Phillips, 55). Substitutes: Austin, Blanchett.
Referee: Mr. F.Graham (Essex)
GOALS: Swindon - Murray (54), Benson (58)
Attendance: 7,261 (74 away)