Three points is three points and the Brewers were happy to take the spoils against ten man Macclesfield Town after a scrappy 1-0 victory. Billy Kee continued his hot scoring form with his eighth of the season after eleven minutes but the biggets talking point was the sending off of Macclesfield substitute Vinny Mukendi who had only been on the pitch eleven seconds at the start of the second half when referee Brendan Malone adjudged him to have led with his arm in challenging Ryan Austin for the ball. It seemed like a harsh decision and in truth Macclesfield played the second half well enough that they still should have gone home with at least a point.
Albion were forced into at least two of the three changes to the starting line-up for the visit of the Silkmen. With Kevin Amankwaah injured and Tony James suspended there were recalls in defence for Andy Corbett and Nathan Stanton whilst Jacques Maghoma earned himself a start in place of Jimmy Philips wide on the left hand side of midfield.
If anything it was the visitors who made the brighter start with atkins having to make a smart block to deny former Chesterfield striker Scott Boden but it was the Brewers who stole in front in the 11th minute. Calvin Zola worked hard to pressure the Macclesfield defence and the error came from Elliott Hewitt who played the ball straight into the path of Jacques Maghoma. The winger made room for a shot that Jose Veiga could only parry and the ball came to Billy KEE who took his time to control the ball before blasting home from eight yards out.
It gave Albion the lift they needed after a slightly sluggish start although there was an alarming moment when Ross Draper connected with Sam Wedgbury's cross only for the ball to flash wide of the post.
Burton briefly looked as if they were going to get a grip of the game but Macclesfield squandered a gilt edged chance on 22 minutes when Lewis Chalmers picked out Scott Boden in the middle. The striker had all the time in the world to control and pick out a shot as the Albion defence went walkabout but the striker inexplicably failed to even hit the target.
The visitors continued to look the more lively and only the presence of Ryan Austin prevented George Donnelly getting a more substantial contact onto the ball as he played it into the area on 32 minutes but Ross Atkins was able to claim easily. Shaun Brisley also planted a header well over the target although he looked to be climbing all over Aaron Webster to do so.
Albion woke from their slumber just after the half hour mark and as Billy Kee put a teasing ball into the middle the Macclesfield hastily cleared and then Calvin Zola got the faintest touch to Adam Bolder's cross that ended just wide of the post.
As play switched from end to end in the closing stages of the half either side could have scored again but Albion were probably grateful to go in at the break ahead with a chance to regroup and come out strongly for the second half.
Half time: Burton Albion 1-0 Macclesfield Town
There was a bizarre start to the second as Macclesfield were reduced to ten men within seconds of the restart. Vinny Mukendi replaced the Frenchman Tony Diagne at the start of the seconds period and within eleven seconds he had challenged Ryan Austin for the ball leaving the defender on the floor and referee Brendan Malone had no hesitation in producing the red card.
Burton quickly tried to take advantage of the extra man and Veiga had to show good handling to keep out a good Cleveland Taylor cross but it was at the other end that the better chances were continuing to come. Sam Wedgbury fired in a free kick that Atkins held onto well and Boden spurned another excellent chance after a long throw found its way through to the back post only for the striker to scoop the ball over the bar from close in.
Albion made their first change on 63 minutes with Jimmy Phillips replacing Cleveland Taylor and moments later Albion really should have been two goals ahead. A delighful ball from Kee found Zola in the centre and although the striker's first touch was not as good as it should have been the ball clearly bounced up and hit Shaun Brisley on the hand but to everyone's dismay referee Brendan Malone failed to award the spot kick.
An even better chance presented itself moments later when Kee released Phillips through the middle but reaching the edge of the box the winger drove his shot wide of the target.
Despite still not playing anywhere near their best Albion fashioned anotheer opportunity as Zola rose highest to place a header from Jacques Maghoma's free kick over the crossbar.
Greg Pearson came on in place of Calvin Zola for the final 12 minutes but it was Macclesfield substitute Waide Fairhurst who almost made the instant impact when he cut inside and forced Atkins into a ssave low down to his left.
It was difficult at times to remember that it was Macclesfield who were in fact playing with ten men but Albion were twice close through Phillips after a mazy run and then Pearson who was denied by Veiga. Macclesfield had to throw caution to the wind by the end but Albion held on for a crucial three points and a hard earned clean sheet.
ALBION: Atkins; Corbett, Stanton, Austin, Webster; Taylor, Bolder, McGrath, Maghoma; Zola, Kee. Substitutes: Poole, Moore, Palmer, Phillips, Pearson.
MAACLESFIELD: Veiga, Tremarco, Brown, Chalmers, Draper, Donnelly, Diagne, Brisley, Wedgbury, Hewitt, Boden. Substitutes: Morgan, Mukendi, Mendy, Fairhurst, HAmshaw.
Referee: Mr. B.Malone (Wiltshire)
Goals: Albion - Kee (11)