FLEETWOOD Town striker Paddy Madden bagged a second half hat-trick to condemn the Brewers to a 4-1 defeat at Highbury Stadium
The former Scunthorpe and Yeovil hitman showed all of his predatory instincts to punish the Brewers after the Brewers had deservedly gone in at the break on level terms and on the balance of chances should probably have been ahead.
Madden had played a part in Fleetwood's opener when the home side punished some sloppy defending and he laid the ball into the path of striker partner Ched Evans to open the scoring. Albion, after hitting the post and creating other notable first half chances finally got the goal their play deserved when Oliver Sarkic got the better of Alex Cairns at the second attempt.
After the break it was the Madden show as he was twice afforded far too much space inside the Burton box to finish from less than six yards before he completed his hat-trick on a breakaway with Albion pushing for a late goal.
It was a harsh scoreline for the Brewers but chances were missed and situations not defended which ultimately conspired to give victory to the home side.
A fortnight had passed since the Brewers last outing, the 3-0 away win at Milton Keynes Dons and with the international break done and dusted there was just one change for Nigel Clough's side. John Brayford came back into the side after a spell out with injury and he was the only change, coming in for Liam Boyce who picked up a knock in training after reporting back from Northern Ireland duty. Boyce's omission was more of a precautionary nature with the striker featuring on the bench.
As both sides got used to a seemingly very wet pitch with passing holding up on the surface the game took a few minutes to settle although Jordan Rossiter managed to whip a shot just over the bar after Kieran O'Hara had punched away a teasing left wing cross.
Albion responded with a good passage of play down the left hand side with Lucas Akins slipping at the vital moment although Ryan Edwards still managed to fashion half a chance which was easy for the home defence to deal with.
Kieran Wallace was soon in referee Chris Sarginson's book for a late challenge on Wes Burns as he tried to set Town on the attack down their left.
Burns was looking a real threat switching to the right hand side. His hopeful cross took a wicked deflection off the boot of Richard Nartey to earn the home side a corner and the Welshman then popped up at the near post to flick the ball just wide of the post from the resulting flag kick.
Fleetwood went very close to an opening goal midway through the first half when Danny Andrew caught a left foot volley sweetly from a raking crossfield pass but O'Hara was alive to it and got down superbly to turn it around the post. And the Brewers stopper was called into action again a couple of minutes later as Kyle Dempsey fired in a curling 25-yard effort that the on-loan Manchester United stopper had to push over his crossbar.
Ched Evans glanced a header goalwards but could not quite steer it wide of O'Hara before Paddy Madden tried an ambitious volley from Burns' delivery as his effort sliced wide of the target.
Albion saw off the spell of pressure and Scott Fraser was just a whisker away from grabbing a precious lead for the Brewers when he turned smartly onto Broadhead's ball to find the inside of the post with his shot before Akins converted another left wing cross only for the flag of the assistant to instantly rule it out for offside. The Brewers only had to wait a matter of seconds for another chance to come their way, from the same side, this time Sarkic seeing his shot cleared from almost on the line by Andrew.
But after all of Albion's good work they fell behind on 38 minutes. Hutchinson was caught dwelling on the ball allowing Burns to pose a threat as he got to the bye line. The ball was crossed in and Madden helped it on for EVANS to prod home from close range. A poor goal to concede after a good spell in the game.
Lloyd Dyer was swiftly brought on down the left in place of Hutchinson and he was swiftly raiding forwards and helping to create a chance that Broadhead curled towards goal, the ball taking a deflection off a Fleetwood boot to land on the roof of the net.
Albion though were level on the stroke of half time. Fraser combined well with SARKIC inside the box and although the young striker needed two bites of the cherry he calmly slotted home for his second goal in as many games.
Half time: Fleetwood Town 1-1 Burton Albion
After a bright start to the second period by the home side it was Sarkic again threatening as Broadhead slipped him in. This time Alex Cairns got enough of a hand on his placed effort to ensure it went around the upright.
Albion fell behind again on 58 minutes although Albion will feel aggrieved that Akins was not awarded a free kick on half way before full back Lewie Coyle was able to make good progress down the right, dinking a beautifully flighted cross towards the far post where MADDEN stole in to side foot home.
MADDEN was at it again on 68 minutes showing all of his predatory instincts to head home a third for the home side when Burns fired across a pinpoint centre.
Boyce quickly made his entrance with Broadhead making way after another industrious shift from the Toffee's youngster in an attempt to create something that could make for a grandstand finish.
Albion's final change came with just under ten minutes to go with Joe Sbarra sent on in place of Ryan Edwards as Albion were pushing forwards with intent. It was all looking good in build up until the ball got to the edge of the box and Fleetwood always seemed to have someone there to make a block. Wallace did get chance on the edge of the box to fire in a volley but it was always rising and with Albion pushing on there was always the risk of a counter with MADDEN ruthlessly punishing the Brewers late on when former Albion youngster Ash Hunter played him through to calmly slide the ball beyond O'Hara to complete his treble.