Burton Albion and Morecambe just dont do boring games and so it proved again as Albion ran out 3-2 winners against their former Conference rivals and it really was a game that had everything. Albion raced into a two goal lead five minutes before half time as Adam Bolder opened the scoring on six minutes and Aaron Webster, playing in his 100th Football League game, drove home his 100th goal in a Burton Albion shirt. Morecambe hit back and got a crucial goal just before the interval and then equalised through Albion's nemesis Danny Carlton who has a knack of scoring against the Brewers.
It was all set up for a tense finish when substitute Chris Palmer swept home an 87th minute free kick but referee Lee Collins ensured even more drama when he awarded a stoppage time spot kick for a dangerously high foot by Calvin Zola but when leading scorer Kevin Ellison stepped up for the penalty amid torrential rain goalkeeper Ross Atkins ensured the three points remained with the home side as he brilliantly kept out the penalty.
Cleveland Taylor was one of two changes to the starting line-up for the visit of Morecambe. He replaced Jack Dyer in a midfield reshuffle that saw Jacques Maghoma revert to a central role where he impressed on Friday. As expected Calvin Zola returned to the team following his substitute appearance against Dagenham and he was paired wtih Justin Richards in attack as Greg Pearson dropped to the bench.
In slippery and awkward conditions it was Andy Corbett who had the first effort on goal. Picking the ball up thirty yards out it needed to be a first time effort but although keeping his shot down he could not keep it from from drifting wide of the post.
Buoyed by a good start to the game Albion went ahead after just six minutes. Justin Richards found Jimmy Phillips inside him and the ball was moved quickly to Adam BOLDER who checked before curling a sweet right foot shot over Barry Roche into the back of the net.
Morecambe had a half chance on the breakaway as Craig Curran's shot clipped the heels of Ryan Austin forcing Ross Atkins to hastily drop on the ball as it threatened to get away from him. The on loan striker almost had his equaliser on the quarter of an hour mark as Izak Reid whipped in a dangerous near post cross that the striker flicked into the side netting.
Calvin Zola was very close to doubling the Brewers lead as he muscled his way into a shooting position only for an immaculately timed challenge from Will Haining to deny him a goal.
The visitors began to string the better moves together as they enjoyed a spell of pressure. It was a set piece though that presented their best opportunity on the half hour. Nick Fenton coming forward from the back to make his presence felt heading straight at Ross Atkins from Izak Reid's corner.
Albion rediscovered their passing boots and it was Maghoma that sparked it with a neat one two with Justin Richards before disappointingly hitting a cross cum shot that failed to seriously trouble Barry Roche in the Morecambe goal.
There was nothing Roche could do on 39 minutes as a Brewers landmark was achieved. Albion salvaged what looked to be a poorly taken free kick and when Adam Bolder laid it into the path of Calvin Zola the space appeared to open up for the Congolese striker however he produced an impudent flick that put the ball into the path of Aaron WEBSTER to gleefully drive home from twelve yards for his 100th Burton Albion goal. It was also the first time since the end of November that Albion had been in a position of being two goals ahead in a game.
It was a luxury that Albion did not enjoy for very long as Morecambe hit back with almost the last kick of the first half. Will Haining's free kick into the penalty area caused problems allowing Jack Redshaw to sneak in and put the ball into the middle for Jordan BURROW to put the ball into the back of the net.
Half time: Burton Albion 2-1 Morecambe
The visitors made a change at the start of the second half with Danny CARLTON coming on for Nick Fenton and the striker had his side level within four minutes of the restart. Izak Reid swung in a free kick and as the Burton defence switched off the striker, so often a thorn in Albion's side, pounced to slide the ball under Atkins.
Justin Richards twice had shots blocked as Albion sought to restore their advantage but Barry Roche was not to be beaten this time as he managed to beat away an early effort from the Albion striker.
Albion had to change their defensive line around on 56 minutes as Webster limped off after picking up a knock. Patrick Ada was the man to replace him with Andy Corbett switching to the left back role and Ada going to right back.
Curran dragged a shot wide of the post bt it was Albion who began to show more attacking intent and Richards disappointing only rippled the side netting on sixty seven minutes when he was cleverly played in by Jimmy Phillips at the end of a promising move.
Both sides made a change on the 70 minute mark with Morecambe introducing their leading scorer Kevin Ellison inplace of goalscorer Burrow and Albion bringing on Chris Palmer for Cleveland Taylor.
Morecambe squandered a glorious chance to take the lead on 75 minutes as young midfielder Jack Redshaw twisted and turned inside the penalty area to work a close range opportunity for himself but he went for the glory of trying to find the far top corner and missed the target.
Albion sent on Greg Pearson for the closing stages in place of Justin Richards as the Brewers looked for an elusive third goal to put them back in front.
When the thhird goal did come on 87 minutes though it was one of the other substitutes, PALMER, who put the Brewers back in front. Calvin Zola was bundled over by Andy Parrish and the former Gillingham man stepped up confidently to curl a superb free kick over the wall and out of the reach of Roche.
There was late drama however as a high foot offence inside the penalty area on Danny Carlton gave the visitors the chance deep into stoppage time to equalise again. Ellison stepped up confidently as the heavens opened but Roiss Atkins superbly plunged low to his right to push the ball around the post to ensure a vital victory for Gary Rowett's men.
BURTON: Atkins; Corbett, Stanton, Austin, Webster; Taylor, Bolder, Maghoma, Phillips; Pearson, Zola. Substitutes: James, Palmer, Pearson, Clucas, Ada.
MORECAMBE: Roche, Fenton, Haining, Reid, Hunter, Curran, Burrow, McCready, McDonald, Parrish, Redshaw. Substitutes: Ellison, Mwasile, Kettings, McGee, Carlton.
Referee: Mr L.Collins (Surrey)
GOAL: Burton - Bolder (6), Webster (39), Palmer (87); Morecambe - Burrow (45+2), Carlton (49)