Two first half strikes from Billy Kee and a second half volley from midfielder Adam Bolder ultimately proved enough to see off the spirited challenge of AFC Wimbledon on their first ever visit to the Pirelli Stadium. The visitors showed plenty of the never say die spirit of their predecessors and twice came back to set up a fantastic finale as Luke Moore scored just before half time and an own goal from Aaron Webster diverted past Ross Atkins to set up a nervy final eight minutes for the Brewers who make it three league wins on the bounce and cement their fifth place in the table as a result although wins for Cheltenham and Shrewsbury prevent Albion climbing further into the promotion mix.
Chris Palmer and Kevin Amankwaah returned to the starting line up for the Brewers at the expense of the suspended John McGrath and also Andy Corbett who dropped back to the bench after filling for Amankwaah during his short lay off through injury. In the absence of skipper McGrath it was Nathan Stanton who was handed the captain's armband.
Looking to build on their midweek FA Cup win at Scunthorpe the visitors began brightly and Albion were on the back foot from the first whistle.
After weathering the early storm from Tery Brown's men Albion struck back to devastating effect as the man of the moment Billy KEE took his goal tally into double figures for the season. It owed a lot to the running of Jacques Maghoma who rescued what looked a lost cause as he miscontrolled a short pass from Chris Palmer. The winger laid the ball back into the Aaron Webster who had time to pick out his cross into the middle. Zola and Kee looked to have got in each others way initially but as the ball dropped, Kee took control of the situation and took the ball to his left hand side before drilling it emphatically past Seb Brown.
There was concern in the Albion ranks as a clash of heads between Cleveland Taylor and Kevin Amankwaah resulted in the latter having to leave the field for further treeatment but fortunately the former Swindon full back was able to continue after some running repairs.
The Brewers kept up the pressure and could have doubled their lead in the 28th minute. An inswinging corner from Palmer was met with a firm header from Adam Bolder who saw his effort tipped away by Seb Brown.
A minute later however and Albion were two up as Kee showed his predatory instincts to double his tally. Amankwaah punted the ball forwards and defender Brett Johnson made a hash fo things by allowing the ball to bounce over his head to run through to the keeper. KEE however had other ideas and after winning a 50-50 challenge with the keeper the ball fell kindly for his to pirouette and fire into the far corner of the empty net.
The striker was given an early chance to complete a second Brewers hat-trick when he bore down on goal in the 35th minute. A pass from Palmer played him in n the edge of the box but having turned neatly the youngster tried to poke the ball past Brown but Johnson went some way towards redeeming himself for his earlier effort with a crucial challenge.
Chances continued to come for the Brewers and Webster almost brought up his 100th Albion goal after a delightful sweeping move only to see the ball taken off his toe at the vital moment and Zola failed to hit the target with a difficult chance that went wide of the post.
Wimbledon gave themselves a lifeline on the stroke of half time halving the deficit. Albion only half blocked the ball on the edge of their own penalty area and the ball fell for Luke Moore who struck the ball across Ross Atkins and into the far corner.
Half time: Burton Albion 2-1 AFC WImbledon
Kevin Amankwaah failed to reappear for the second half after suffering the after effects of his first half head injury and that meant a return to the side for Andy Corbett when play resumed. Wimbledon were again out of the blocks the quickest and Jack Midson was left holding his head in his hands when he fired into the side netting rahter wastefully after Ricky Wellard had been invited to run at the Albion defence before laying the ball into the path of his team mate.
Aaron Webster was soon trying his luck at the other end as Calvin Zola was fouled and the long serving defender saw his curling free kick go agonisingly close to the top corner with Seb Brown beaten in the Wimbledon goal.
The game became very stretched as Albion looked for the goal to make the game safe and Wimbledon looked for a much needed equaliser but it was the Brewers who showed breath taking counter attacking prowess to grab a third goal on 62 minutes. Zola won a header inside his own penalty area as the Dons threatened but when the ball fell for Webster he fould Billk Kee just inside the Wimbledon half and from then the visitors were stretched. The in form striker turned and put a superb ball into the path of Cleveland Taylor galloping away down the right. His cross found Jacques Maghoma and when his effort was blocked it looked like the chance had gone but Adam Bolder was lurking fifteen yards out to fire into the top corner of the net for his first goal of the season.
Kee was inches away from completing his hat-trick when he fired into the side netting shortly after but there was always the feeling that there were more goals to come in the game.
There should have been another clear cut chance when Jacques Maghoma was fouled in the box but as his knees buckled from the tackle he somehow kept his feet when going down for a cast-iron penalty would have been easier. the winger no doubt thought he could have carried on and scored but somehow the visitors scrambled the ball away when it came back into the middle.
Wimbledon gave themselves a second lifeline when they reduced the arrears again with eight minutes to go. Albion half cleared the ball but it came out to Sam Hatton on the right and he put a hopeful low ball into the box that sliced off the heels of Aaron Webster and beyond the wrong footed Ross Atkins.
It was all set for a grandstand finish as the Wombles sensed they could get something out of the game but Calvin Zola after a superb game was denied the goal his performance deserved when Brown made another smart stop after Kee played his strike partner in on goal.
The Brewers lost Adam Bolder to injury as the midfielder twisted his ankle in the closing stages meaning a return for Jimmy Phillips and there was more late drama when Dons substitute Jaames Mulley went down on the edge of the box after a challenge from Webster and the visiting bench screaming for a penalty. Referee Steve Tanner instead incensed the visitors by awarding a free kick for a follow-up foul by Chris Bush.
It was a frantic end to what had been another entralling roller coaser ride for Albion in League 2. One thing is for certain Albion are good vallue for entertainment this season and not just because they sit in fifth place in the table heading towards Christmas.
ALBION: Atkins; Amankwaah, James, Stanton, Webster; Taylor, Bolder, Palmer, Maghoma; Zola, Kee. Substitutes: Poole, Corbett, Phillips, Gurrieri, Dyer.
WIMBLEDON: Brown, Stuart, Johnson, Hatton, Wellard, Adameno, Midson, L.Moore, Bush, S.Moore, Yussuf. Substitutes: Jackson, Minshull, Turner, McNaughton, Mulley.
Referee: S.Tanner (Somerset)
GOALS: Albion - Kee (14, 29), Bolder (62); Wimbledon - L.Moore (45), Webster (82 own goal)