ALBION and Fulham under-21s battled to a 1-1 draw in the final group game of this season's Papa John's Trophy before the Brewers ended the night coming out on top in a penalty shoot-out by four spot-kicks to one.
It looked early on as if it might not be Albion's night when Kane Hemmings unfortunately headed a free-kick into his own net before Ryan Edwards notched his first goal of the season before half-time.
With neither side able to grab a winner in the second half Albion took part in their third penalty shoot-out of the season and scored all of their efforts, Hemmings, Steven Lawless, Ben Hart all confidently converting whilst Fulham substitute Mika Biereth fired against the bar and keeper Teddy Sharman-Lowe made a smart save to keep out Jayden Harris' effort. Although Adrion Pajaziti found the back of the net it wa Ciaran Gilligan who wrapped it up firing home the final kick of the night.
Jake Buxton rang the changes for the final group game giving minutes to a number of squad players with four academy graduates in the starting eleven, Sharman-Lowe in goal, Reece Hutchinson returning to action after injury and both Gilligan and Hart featuring in the midfield.
And it was Hutchinson who went close to a first goal in Albion colours in the eighth minute drilling a low angled effort just wide of the upright as Neal Eardley's cross fizzed through the box to find him beyond the back post.
But Albion found themselves behind when a free-kick swung in by Pajaziti was inadvertently headed into his own net by HEMMINGS inside his own six-yard box.
Albion were inches away from an equaliser on 21 minutes, Edwards finding space inside the area for a low effort fired into the near post that got a faint deflection to carry it wide.Just a minute later and Hemming went close when Hutchinson skewed an effort goalwards and the striker swivelled to fire over the bar.
The equaliser came on 34 minutes. A driving forward run from Steve Lawless led to EDWARDS and Hutchinson exchanging passes inside the box for the Australian to steer the ball home from just outside the six yard box.
Half time: Burton Albion 1-1 Fulham Under-21s
The second half saw debuts for two more youngsters progressing from the academy. Both Tom Armitage and second-year scholar Thierry Latty-Fairweather took to the field with both John Brayford and Neal Eardley rested ahead of Saturday's League One trip to Hull.
Both sides produced some neat football and Latty-Fairweather, operating at centre-back, got in a couple of good challenges that would have eased any debut nerves.
Albion continued to probe and Lawless was inches away from putting the Brewers in front on the hour mark with a left foot effort that cannoned back off the post.
The yellow card was flashed in Latty-Fairweather's direction on 64 minutes when he stretched and caught Terry Ablade but that was only after the youngster had been pulled back by Harris to earn the Brewers a free kick.
The visitors also struck the woodwork, on 83 minutes, Biereth doing well on the right to send Ablade into the box but having been pushed wide shifting the ball around Sharman-Lowe his low effort struck the outside of the upright.
Fulham had late shouts for a penalty when Ryan De Havilland and John-Joe O'Toole clashed in the box but referee Rob Lewis waved away the appeals before the game headed into a penalty shoot-out for an extra point, Gilligan atoning for missing his spot-kick in the group opener at Peterborough by firing home the winning penalty.