Burton Albion are up and running in Sky Bet League One after an opening day 2-1 victory over Scunthorpe United at the Pirelli Stadium. Stuart Beavon had the honour of netting the Brewers first goal in the third tier after some sharp play inside the box ten minutes after half time and when Lucas Akins converted a bizarrely awarded penalty on 72 minutes Albion had the comfort of a two goal lead.
If Beavon's goal had lifted the roof off the Pirelli then the events leading up to the second goal were just as raucous. The penalty came when Scunthorpe keeper Luke Daniels had the ball in his hands but for some reason decided to raise his elbow to former Iron winger Mark Duffy lurking on the edge of the box as the keeper prepared to kick from his hands. Referee Kevin Wright took his time and after consulting his assistant showed Daniels a red card and awarded Albion the spot kick.
Charlie Goode's stoppage time header halved the arrears but it came too late to seriously threaten Albion's grip on the three points.
Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink handed debuts to Duffy, on loan from Birmingham City, and goalkeeper Remi Matthews who won the race to start the game making his senior debut in place of the suspended Jon McLaughlin.
Tom Naylor had the honour of Albion's touch of the ball in the new division and not long after he almost grabbed the first goal of the season with a searing thirty yard effort that flew not far wide of Daniels' upright. Duffy squandered a clear opening moments later as he closed down and dispossessed Stephen Dawson on the edge of the box but with the goal at his mercy fired wide with just the keeper to beat
It was a very bright start from Albion and Naylor was also unlucky to find a well struck left foot effort nestle straight into the clutches of the keeper from 25 yards.
Scunthorpe began to settle and a patient build up on 14 minutes created a headed opportunity for former Leicester City youngster Tom Hopper who guided his effort over although the flag of an assistant referee would have ruled the effort out for offside had he managed to beat Matthews and the same player, this time well onside, failed to convert from 12 yards out with another header that he would have expected to do better with.
Luke Williams found space in the centre of the park to burst forward as Naylor felt the effects of a heavy challenge but his accuracy deserted him as well dragging a low right footer wide with Remi Matthews not even forced into diving for it.
Duffy then picked out a forward run from Lucas Akins but forced to shoot first time and on the volley last season's leading scorer got it all wrong and failed to find the target.
Albion had a lucky escape on 25 minutes when Phil Edwards turned a low cross against his own post under pressure from ace goal poacher Paddy Madden before Matthews was finally able to drop onto the loose ball as Scunthorpe failed to profit from the rebound.
There was a long break in play as Williams received treatment after going down awkwardly after a challenge from Robbie Weir and the creative United midfielder took no further part in the game making way for Gary McSheffrey with half an hour on the clock.
The Iron were forced into a second substitution less than ten minutes later. Niall Canavan came off worse from a clash at a corner with Damien McCrory and after initially carrying on following treatment the big Irishman was brought off to be replaced by summer signing Charlie Goode.
Five minutes of stoppage time were added by referee Wright as a result mainly of the stoppage for Williams' injury and Nasser El Khayati almost profited during the later stages of the added minutes when a late chance opened up for him but he scooped the ball over the bar to his and the fans dismay.
Half time: Burton Albion 0-0 Scunthorpe United
Scunthorpe were undoubtedly out of the blocks quicker for the second half and Madden was close to bagging the opening goal on 53 minutes when he was on the end of a raking crossfield ball from the left with his angled volley beating Matthews but also, more importantly, finishing wide of the far post.
Burton were not made to pay for their first half profligacy in front of goal and having soaked up some early pressure from the visitors Albion broke up the field and on 55 minutes they had the lead through their historic first goal in the third tier. Lucas Akins made a dart across the edge of the penalty area before Stuart BEAVON took over. Nicking the ball away from a Scunthorpe defender on the edge of the box he wriggled through another challenge before coolly slipping the ball beyond the advancing Daniels. It was a moment to make the Pirelli truly erupt with all bar the 1,100 visiting fans basking in the moment.
Albion were not about to sit back and hope for the one goal victory. Akins led another charge down the right and although Duffy's cross was just too high for El Khayati the Dutchman retrieved the ball beyond the far post and forced Daniels into a save at his near post that rebounded out with Naylor just unable to steer the ball back over the United keeper.
Beavon was certainly in the mood for more goals with a raking shot from the right that Daniels took comfortably above his head. The keeper then completely lost his head as Duffy stood up to him on the edge of the area, the keeper flicked out at elbow sending Duffy to the floor. the incident must have been just inside the box because after consulting his assistant referee Wright pointed to the spot and sent Daniels off for violent conduct. Substitute keeper Joe Anyon, an Albion triallist just twelve months ago, was given his first touch - picking the ball out of the net from Lucas AKINS subsequent penalty.
From the restart, with seventeen minutes remaining, Albion introduced Jerome Binnom-Williams for his debut, replacing El Khayati and he slotted straight in on the left hand side of midfield.
Jordan Clarke picked up the first yellow card of the game for a clumsy challenge on Beavon but it was all Albion now as Scunthorpe's play became somewhat ragged.
Matty Palmer replaced the hard working Duffy as the game ticked down and inside the last five minutes Beavon was given a well earned rest with supporters getting a first sight in competitive action of Timmy Thiele.
Binnom-Williams in particular was proving to be a real thorn in the side of the Scunthorpe defence and he was close to getting a debut goal as Wiseman's back header almost fell short of Anyon but the Crystal Palace loanee's touch was not quite enough to rub salt in the Scunthorpe wounds.
Much as Albion would have loved a clean sheet to mark their start to life in League One it eluded them when substitute GOODE peeled off his marker from a corner to give the Brewers a nervy last ninety seconds of stoppage time.
Nothing was going to stop the Brewers celebrating a first win at their new found level as Palmer ran the clock down as referee Wright put the whistle to his lips to bring an end to proceedings.