Defeat by a single goal early in the second half condemned Albion to an unwanted thirteenth game without a win as Shrewsbury Town had skipper Ian Sharps to thank for three more points in the battle for promotion from League 2 and leaving Albion staring at an unwanted record of 500 minutes since they last found the back of the net in the home game against Rotherham.
Sharps pounced on Mark Wright's corner to head home from close range four minutes after the break and although the Brewers fought hard Shrewsbury will wonder how they did not add to their single goal after dominating most of the second period.
Searching for that elusive first win of 2012 the Brewers took to the field against the Shrews showing four changes to the side that lost at Port Vale on Tuesday. Calvin Zola, having recovered from a calf strain, returned to partner Justin Richards in attack with Adam Bolder the man from midfield to make way as the young partnership of Jack Dyer and loan signing Matt Harriott continued as they started on Tuesday. Cleveland Taylor returned on the right side of midfield with Lionel Ainsworth ineligible to play against his parent club. In defence Nathan Stanton replaced the injured Tony James and there was a surprise with Patrick Ada given a full debut in place of Ryan Austin.
With a strong wind at their backs it was no surprise that Shrewsbury made most of the arly running. Marvin Morgan inspired one breakaway from deep in his own half which reuslted in a free kick as Nathan Stanton, skippering the side, caught the former Aldershot striker after the ball had gone. Matt Richards took the free kick and Albion had a job on to scramble the ball away to safety.
After weathering most of what the home side could throw at them the Brewers began to get a foothold in the game and with Jack Dyer and Matt Harriott busy in midfield there were signs that Albion could perhaps unsettle the high flying Shrews. Justin Richards crossed into the centre and the home side had to scramble it away and Jimmy Phllips found himself crowded out at the far post as a good move saw Andy Corbett swing in a teasing cross from the right.
It was Harriott who had Albion's first serious effort on goal in the 21st minute. Zola, working hard as ever in attack, was able to lay the ball back to Phillips and he found Harriott who cut inside and tried his luck with a right foot shot from just outside the area that Chris Neal clutched at the second attempt.
Romaine Sawyers, on loan from West Bromwich Albion had a headed chance before Albion almost causewd their own downfall in the 26th minute. Patrick Ada tried to play the ball back to Ross Atkins as James Collins pressured him but he was unaware that Morgan was lurking behind him and when the striker intercepted it was fortunate for Albion that it was wide of the goal and Atkins was able to block Morgan's attempted ball back into the middle.
Morgan had a header saved by Atkins as referee Nigel Miller waved play on after Jimmy Philliips appeared to be fouled with Albion infuriated not to get the free kick and the lanky striker sent in a dangerous cross moments later that needed Andy Corbett to hack the ball away from deep inside his own six yard box as the Shrews sensed that the opening goal was close.
Albion managed to frustrate the home side in what remained of the first half and looked to build on a promising first forty-five minutes after the break.
Half time: Shrewsbury Town 0-0 Burton Albion
Shrewsbury made a change at the start of the second half with Jon Taylor, a two goal hero on his full debut against the Brewers last season, replacing Romaine Sawyers on the right side of midfield.
Almost from the kick off Justin Richards got a flick on and Calvin Zola was onto it quickly to flash a shot over the crossbar.
Shrewsbury quickly got onto the front foot and from the second of two quick corners they broke the deadlock. From the first corner Andy Corbett did well to divert James Collins' overhead effort over the crossbar from almost on his own goal line and from the resulting corner Ian SHARPS attacked Mark Wright's centre and got there just before Atkins to break the deadlock. Coming just four minutes after the restart it was a big blow for the Brewers.
Cleveland Taylor went into the referee's book for a challenge on Joe Jacobsen and before the free kick could be taken Nathan Stanton had to be replaced by Ryan Austin. The defender had been struggling to shake off a muscle strain from early in the second half. The Shrews were close to a second goal when Jacobsen played the ball in and Ross Atkins had to dive to push away Sharps' header when the free kick was eventually taken.
Collins then lost his footing at the crucial moment as a good chance presented itself with Atkins able to snuff out the danger before the former Albion loanee could pounce.
After a sustained spell of home pressure Albion almost snatched an equaliser on 70 minutes.A long kick out from Atkins was helped on and found Richards on the right hand side. He swung in a cross that found Zola in the centre but at full stretch his header bounced back across goal and just wide of the post.
Shrewsbury were in full flow now and Albion almost gifted them a second with some suicidal defending. Atkins tried to take a goal kick short to Ada who was beaten to it by Morgan. With Collins unmarked in the middle his partner tried to find him but the ball evaded him and Austin falling nicely for Mark Wright ghosting in from the left. He took aim and fired low but Atkins did well to recover and block the ball away.
Adam Bolder was brought on for Harriott with fifteen minutes to go as Albion struggled to stem the tide of Shrewsbury attacks.
Adi Yussuf was the last throw of the Albion dice with ten minutes to go but it was still the home side pressing for a second rather than Albion seriously threatening an equaliser.
Albion had a late chance to salvage a point with a stoppage time free kick but with everyone inside the Shrewsbury penalty area for Jack Dyer's set piece the ball went straight into the hands of Chris Neal as Albion extended their goal famine to in excess of 500 minutes.
It had been another battling effort from the Brewers but again with nothing to show for it against one of the leading sides in this season's npower League 2.
SHREWSBURY: Neal, Grandison, Jacobson, Sharps, Wright, Collins, Morgan, Richards, McAllister, McLaughlin, Sawyer. Substitutes: Smith, Cansdell-Sherriff, Wroe, Taylor, Gornell.
BURTON: Atkins; Corbett, Ada, Stanton, Webster; Taylor, Harriot, Dyer, Phillips; Richards, Zola. Substitutes: Palmer, Yussuf, Austin, Gurrieri, Bolder.
Referee: Mr. N.Miller (County Durham)
Attendance: 5,840 (210 away)