Billy Kee's brace of goals were enough to seal a relatively comfortable victory over ten man Wycombe Wanderers. The livewire striker set the Brewers on their way on 26 minutes with a trademark turn and shot on the edge of the box before firing home a 52nd minute penalty after Gary Doherty had felled him inside the box. Matt McClure's 90th minute turn and finish from close range ensured a nervy finish but ultimately Albion were good value for the three points after Charles Dunne had seen red for a secong bookable offence just two minutes into the second period.
Looking to build on the home draw against Scunthorpe United, Brewers boss Gary Rowett made two changes to the team as Albion went in search of their first win in five games. Adam McGurk returned to the team after a bout of tonsilitis prevented him from starting against the Iron. He came in for Michael Symes who dropped to the bench with Rene Howe not featuring in the matchday eighteen at all. In defence Ian Sharps returned to rekindle a partnership with Shane Cansdell-Sherriff that was so successful at Shrewsbury. Zander Diamond the unlucky defender to drop to the bench. On the bench, 50 year old Kevin Poole made a rare appearance, Dean Lyness failing to shake off a foot injury.
The game started at a brisk pace with both sides clearly keen to get the ball down and try to play good football on what looked an excellent surface. Albion, it was, who fashioned the first real opportunity of the game with a flowing move on nine minutes with some smart passing carving out an opening for Robbie Weir to try a low shot from distance but Matt Ingram in the Wycombe goal was untroubled by his effort.
Wycombe, buoyed by a good home record quickly found their own attacking threat and when Sam Wood's low cross was only half cleared left back Charles Dunne checked inside to drill a low effort into the midriff of Jordan Pickford.
Adam McGurk attempted a curling shot on the quarter of an hour mark from just outside the box but Ingram had his angles right and easily saved from the ex-Tranmere man.
Damien McCrory also had a sight of goal as the clock towards the twenty minute mark. Getting to the ball a split second before winger Paris Cowan-Hall, the ball sat up nicely for Albion's left back and his rising drive was not that far wide of Ingram's right hand upright.
Cowan-Hall and a quick follow-up from Matt McClure offered Wycombe hope of the opening goal but neither effort troubled Pickford in the Albion goal as Albion's defence held firm.
Albion though, had the lead on 26 minutes and it was a thoroughly deserved goal. Chris Hussey started it off with a probing run down the left and when his cross was blocked the ball came out to Lee Bell and the skipper found a delightful pass into the feet of Billy KEE. He turned his man on the edge of the box and and found a shot unerringly across Ingram and into the bottom corner.
Dunne then incurred the ire of the referee for a slightly dangerous challenge on Phil Edwards that earned the left back a booking from Mr Brown. The official then frustrated the home side when he turned down appeals for a penalty as Jo Kuffour went to ground challenging for a looseball with Edwards on the edge of the penalty area.
Wycombe came agonisingly close to the equaliser on 41 minutes. Kuffour played in Dunne down the left and his teasing low cross to the near post looped up off Matt McClure and a defender to land on the roof of the net for a corner that Albion eventually cleared under pressure.
It was the last clear sight of goal that Wycombe would have in the first period as Albion closed out a half time lead. The end to the half was delayed somewhat by an injury to Edwards who again clashed with Kuffour on the edge of the box. Fortunately the Albion right back was ok to continue after treatment.
Half time: Wycombe Wanderers 0-1 Burton Albion
Wycombe won an early corner which Albion cleared effectively and within two minutes of the start of the second period the home side were down to ten men. Alex MacDonald played in Edwards on the overlap down the right and Dunne, already on a yellow card dived in to hack down the Albion man and earn himself an early bath.
Things went from bad to worse for the home side as KEE doubled his and Burton's tally on 52 minutes. The striker showed quick feet to outwit veteran defender Gary Doherty and when the ex-Norwich man had a second nibble at him inside the box referee Brown had no hesitation in pointing to the spot and allowing the in form striker to confidently dispatch the ball past Ingram.
Kuffour quickly had a sight of goal at the other end but lifted his lob over Pickford and the crossbar and Doherty almost made amends for his error with a towering header from a long throw that he could not keep down to seriously test Albion's keeper.
Albion were quite content to take the sting out of the game but they still had chances to extend their lead. Adam McGurk perhaps should have done better on 66 minutes when a pinpoint cross from Edwards on the right picked him out but his header was straight at Ingram.
Kee was close to his hat trick on 70 minutes as Albion continued to give their hosts the runaround. A delightful spell of passing in and around the Wycombe box created the opportunity for him to cut back onto his left foot and test out Ingram who palmed the ball around the post. From the corner Albion continued to threaten with Sharps getting in a booming header from beyond the back post that gave Edwards the chance to rattle the crossbar with a header.
A couple of substitutions for the home side did little to improve their fortunes before Alex MacDonald earned himself a yellow card for persistent infringement before Wycombe threw on their final substitute, Max Kretchmar in place of Billy Knott. MacDonald quickly took his leave from the game as well with Matty Palmer given just over ten minutes to enhance his burgeoning reputation in midfield.
Palmer was quickly involved winning a free kick just outside the area but from the right hand side of the box McGurk could not quite get the ball up and over the wall with sufficient dip to threaten Ingram's goal.
Kee was destined not to grab his hat-trick with the Albion match winner substituted with five minutes of the game remaining. Dominic Knowles, a hat-trick man himself in a reserve team win in midweek, came on for a late cameo appearance and he almost grabbed a goal as Palmer's teasing cross from the right almost came right to him.
What should have been a comfortable ending to the game proved to be anything but as Wycombe finally got on the scoresheet in the final minute of normal time. A rare flowing move from the hosts ending with a ball into Matt McCLURE who turned and shot low beyond Pickford from close range to set up a nervy finish. Albion's defence held out and a first ever win at Adams Park was secured.