ALBION are in the hat for the second round of this season's Emirates FA Cup but they will need to win a Pirelli Stadium replay to guarantee their place after Scott Fraser's 78th minute goal was cancelled out five minutes later in a 1-1 draw at Salford City
After twice conceding quick equalisers last week at Doncaster it was the same again at the Peninsula Stadium as Richie Towell lashed home a 25 yarder as the Brewers defence backed off to allow the midfielder to fire home beyond an otherwise unbeatable Kieran O'Hara.
It was a huge disappointment for Albion who had bossed large spells of the second half after an even first period and Fraser's goal looked to have given the Brewers something to build from but it was not to be and the two sides will have to reconvene at the Pirelli to settle matters.
Having made four changes at Doncaster last week Brewers boss made another four for the trip to take on the Ammies in the first round of the FA Cup. Three of the players rested at the Keepmoat were restored to the side with Stephen Quinn, Nathan Broadhead and Ryan Edwards all coming straight back in whilst Jake Buxton started a game for the first time since the end of August. Oliver Sarkic and Kieran Wallace were both rested to the bench with the former feeling a slight hamstring problem during the week and not risked. Joe Sbarra, after a good performance against Doncaster last week, was also on the bench. Richatd Nartey was not in the eighteen as he recovered from his own hamstring problem.
The home side started brightly and were given a chance to test the Brewers defence inside two minutes with Craig Conway over a free kick 25 yards out but his effort thudded into the yellow wall of Burton defenders. Luke Armstrong also had a sight of goal when he charged down a John-Joe O'Toole clearance but could not get his shot beyond Buxton on the edge of the box as the Brewers skipper blocked.
David Templeton curled a shot over the angle of post and bar from a similar position as his goal at Donny last week and the Scot also fired in a whipped low cross that Chris Neal in the City goal got himself fully behind.
John Brayford was having a busy afternoon, bursting forwards to support the attack well and feed Boyce in the box before a timely intervention at the back post denied Salford a clear shot on goal when Ryan Edwards carelessly conceded possession and allowed Conway in on the right to deliver a teasing cross.
Joey Jones picked up a yellow card for a late challenge on Boyce midway through the half with Albion somewhat unhappy that referee Alan Young pulled play back when the Brewers were very much on the attack and outnumbering the defence.
Alibon thought they had broken the deadlock just shy of the half hour makr when O'Toole bundled home a header at the back post from Fraser's corner but referee Young spotted the use of a hand and after a short pause, and consultation with an assistant, ruled it out.
Templeton, busy as always around the edge of the box, worked room for a shot across Chris Neal on 32 minutes but also saw his effort fizz wide of the post.
Ammies skipper Adam Rooney drilled a low effort straigt at O'Hara from just inside the box and left back Ibou Touray was given time and space to send in a wickedly teasing cross that O'Hara gathered just before Rooney could pounce.
Half time: Salford City 0-0 Burton Albion
It was Albion making a better start to the game in the second half with Templeton making a direct run at a retreating defence to get Akins in on his outside but the final cross could not quite find a man in yellow and as the Brewers continued to push on Edwards glanced a header agonisingly wide off the outside of the post from a Broadhead cross.
But Salford were always a threat and Rooney forced a good save from O'Hara when, looking suspiciously offside, he picked up Richie Towell's cross to advance to the edge of the area before trying to find the bottom corner.
Albion made a change on the hour mark with Templeton the man to make way for Wallace who slotted in at left back to allow Akins to push further forwards.
With the Brewers starting to dominate things now Quinn fired a fizzing left footer that was not far wide before Rooney almost grabbed a goal against the run of play but once again unable to beat O'Hara from a tight angle.
Towell had perhaps City's best chance to date midway through the second half but completely fluffed his chance when a strong run from Danny Whitehead found him in space on the left hand side of the box but with the keeper to beat he skewed a right foot shot well off target.
Albion looked to the midfield trickery of Sbarra as the game moved into the final twenty minutes with Edwards' industry making way but it was Fraser with a more direct approach forcing a fingertip save from Neal as Albion got closer to an opening goal. Neal also had to be at his best, at full stretch to deny Sbarra on 78 minutes.
However there was nothing Neal could do with twelve minutes remaining when FRASER slid the ball into the far corner after excellent hold-up play from Akins inside the box created a shooting opportunity for Broadhead, the Everton loanee firing towards goal but Fraser finally diverting it in.
But just when Albion thought they had put themselves in command, back came Salford and it was that man TOWELL who picked up the ball and lashed home from 25 yards.
Boyce had a glorious chance to wrap things up in the last minute of normal time after another driving run from Fraser but the Irishman scooped his shot on the turn over the bar. And the striker flicked the final chance of the game wide as both sides looked to finish it in the five added minutes. Neither could and so it is back to the Pirelli for a place in the second round.