KYLE McFadzean was Albion's unlikely goalscoring hero with a brace of headers as the Brewers finally sealed an away league win from their longest trip of the season.
There may have been five goals in the game but it was not exactly a thriller as the Brewers seized on Plymouth's lack of confidence to seal a much needed win. Twice they had to come from behind as striker Freddie Ladapo seized on some benevolent Burton defending to put the home side ahead but equalisers from McFadzean and Lucas Akins had the game all square by half time.
A nervy and scrappy second half followed and after Ladapo spurned the chance to wrap the points up from a one on one it was McFadzean who thumped home a second header, seven minutes from time to break the home side's resistance and send the Brewers and their travelling 188 supporters back up the M5 with three points in the bag.
It was a sign of the home side's frailities that all of Albion's goals came from set pieces. Two from Stephen Quinn free kicks and one from a Will Miller corner.
The welcome return of Liam Boyce was the only change for the Brewers as they sought that elusive first away win of the campaign. With Scott Fraser struggling with a back niggle the long trip to Argyle was hardly the best preparation and kept the Scot out of the squad. Boyce's return to the attack prompted a slight reshuffle of the pack with Jake Hesketh dropping into the middle of the park and skipper Akins switching to a more familiar role out wide on the right. With the pre-match warm-up almost finished Albion were forced into a further change with Damien McCrory, a former Argyle player in his youth, forced to withdraw and young Reece Hutchinson given another chance to impress.
Albion had the first chance to strike after just a couple of minutes from a set piece. Hesketh looking to push on in his more central role was bundled over by Graham Carey and when the free kick was rolled to the feet of McFadzean and the big defender drilled an angled shot past the post.
But after a rocky start it was the home side that grabbed the lead on nine minutes. Plymouth were able to work the ball out to LADAPO on the left and he was able to attack box and with Brayford perhaps oofering a yard too much of space the striker needed no second invitation to size up a curling effort into the far corner of the net. Albion again giving themselves a mountain to climb.
Hesketh forced Matt Macey in the Argyle goal into a sprawling save almost straight from the restart but with nobody in a yellow shirt sniffing for the rebound Plymouth were able to hold onto the advantage they had only just gained.
19 minutes were showing when Albion struck with an equaliser. Quinn was the architect with a free kick after a foul on Will Miller and his curling set-up to the back post was headed back across the six yard box by Ben Turner for McFADZEAN to head in his second of the season.
McFadzean almost had a hand in a second Albion goal quickly afterwards as the home defence continued to look vulnerable. Hesketh's corner was headed back across goal by Albion's with Boyce a matter of inches from poking it in at the far post on the stretch.
Ten minutes before the break and the home side were gifted a second goal and again it was LADAPO who benefitted. Quinn this time was too short with a back pass allowing the Argyle striker to nip in, take the ball around Evtimov and slide it home into the empty net.
Albion were back on level terms on 39 minutes. Macey made a superb save to deny Boyce from another free kick on the edge of the 'D' but from the resulting corner there was no mistake as AKINS rose highest to send a header into the corner of the goal.
Hesketh was close again to the first league goal as half time approached but Macey was there to deny him after good work inside the box from Akins and Miller.
With the half time whistle about to blow Plymouth almost regained the advantage going into the break, midfielder Antoni Sarcevic sending a volley too close to Evtimov allowing the stopper to push the ball to safety. A first half not necessarily high on quality but with four goals to show for it.
Half time: Plymouth Argyle 2-2 Burton Albion
Plymouth came out strongly for the second half and quickly had the Brewers defence under pressure. Ladapo missed a chance to bag his hat-trick on 50 minutes when a quickly taken throw in almost caught Albion off guard but rising highest in the box the striker could only guide a header straight at Evtimov.
A blow for Albion came in the form of an injury to Ben Turner that forced the big centre back off on 52 minutes. The change saw the introduction of Ben Fox meaning a reshuffle across the back line. Brayford went to centre back with Akins switching to right back. Hesketh moved back out wide on the right allowing Fox to slot into central midfield.
Albion calmed down once the changes had seen them settle for a few minutes and they laid siege to the Plymouth goal for a period with Boyce denied at the near post by Macey on two occasions as Albion made good inroads down the left hand side of the box.
A third goal was just inches away on the hour mark from another set piece. Hesketh's delivery from a corner found the head of McFadzean and his towering header almost crept through the legs of Ladapo on the line with the striker eventually able to scramble the ball away to safety.
The home side saw off the Burton threat after some sustained pressure and with a quarter of an hour to go it was Albion making a change as Hesketh made way for Devante Cole.
Barely a minute later and Ladapo passed up a glorious chance to complete his treble. With Albion pushing up he used his pace to get clear of McFadzean but with only the keeper to beat dragged his shot wide of the post. He had another chance, albeit a more difficult one, less than a minute later but under pressure dragged his effort across the goal and wide.
Cometh the 83rd minute and cometh McFADZEAN for his second of the game. Plymouth had struggled to contain the big defender in their own box and when Quinn sent in another set piece there was the centre half to thump home another header. Albion were in front for the first time in the game.
With the clock running down it was time for Jake Buxton to come on and try to shore things up. He replaced Miller as Albion moved to a 4-2-3-1 with Buxton and Quinn holding in midfield.
The change certainly made Albion more solid for what remained of the game and Albion never really looked like surrendering a lead they had fought so hard to get. With games against the top two in the division up next this was a game they could ill afford to lose. Thankfully they didnt and with that first away win under their belts the Brewers move further into mid table after scrapping to successive league victories.