ALBION suffered Carabao Cup penalty shoot-out heartbreak as former skipper John Mousinho fired home the winning spot-kick to send Oxford United through to the second round after a 1-1 draw in normal time
In fact it was Mousinho who ended up sending the game to penalties after managing to divert John Brayford's attempted header past his header in the sixth minute of added-on time and cancelling out substitute Nathan Holland's excellent finish with juts five minutes of the game to go.
It was harsh on Albion who created the better chances throughout the game but without a recognised striker on the pitch due to injuries in the squad their failure to convert presentable chances came back to bite them.
Lucas Akins saw his penalty saved whilst Tom O'Connor saw his hit the crossbar whilst Oxford converted all four of theirs, Mousinho with the final one to finally go through.
Albion's starting eleven showed just the one change to the side that grabbed a heartening opening day victory at Shrewsbury. The injury to Jacob Maddox picked up in the first half at Motgmoery Waters Meadow opened up the opportunity for Joe Powell to start against the U's.
In contrast Oxford showed eight changes to the side that played at Cambridge United on opening day. And it was the visitors who were first to threaten inside ninety seconds, former Brewers loanee Sam Winnall glancing Mark Sykes' cross onto the roof of the net.
Albion struck the woodwork on six minutes a ball deep to the back post finding the head of the skipper and his effort looping and beating keeper Simon Eastwood but bouncing down the wrong side of the line from an Albion perspective.
It ws already a flowing end to end game with Albion presented with a good chance on 14 minutes, Patrick winning possession before an exchange of passes on the edge of the box gave the summer signing from Carlisle a chance to shoot but perhaps allowing it to run across his body a little too much his final effort was on more an an angle than he would have liked and his angled drive beat the keeper and the crossbar.
Albion continued to put pressure on Eastwood in the Oxford goal and after a poor attempted clearance the ball eventually fell invitingly for Powell on the edge of the box to volley over.
Oxford responded well having seen off a spell of Albion pressure and but for a deflection inside the Burton box Dan Agyei might have given the visitors the lead with a shot from the edge of the box and the pacey forward was almost in again moments later trying to latch onto a long angled ball with Garratt having to come to the edge of his area to head the ball away.
Albion really should have hit the front on 38 minutes. Slick interplay got Tom Hamer in down the left and his pull back found Brayford ready to volley home only for his effort to hit Patrick and bounce wide.
Half time: Burton Albion 0-0 Oxford United
The second half was just six minutes old when Albion made the first substitution of the game. Deji Oshilaja required some attention in the centre circle and he was quickly replaced by Terry Taylor in a straight swap in midfield.
Visiting keeper Eastwood was called into action on 53 minutes having to react smartly to stop an enthusiastically hit backpass from Leon Chambers from landing in his own net.
Albion worked a flowing move well juts before the hour mark but when the ball came to Patrick on the edge of the box his attempt to curl it around Eastwood ultimately saw the ball land comfortably wide of the upright.
Jonny Smith was closer was a jinking run across the edge of the box and an almost trademark left foot curler that didnt clear the crossbar by too much in the end.
Eastwood was called into action again on 65 minutes although this time it was a more comfortable save dropping to his left to grab hold of Powell's low driven effort.
Oxford continued to pour forwards when they could but Garratt remained relatively untested when Billy Bodin attempted an ambitious curler that landed well wide.
Winnall had a glimpse of goal on 68 minutes taking a long ball well on the edge of the box but only firing his shot against Leak paying him close attention and taking one in the face for his troubles.
Albion went closest yet from a corner on 73 minutes, Conor Shaughnessy so unlucky to see his diving header from a corner blocked on the line by Sykes.
Danny Rowe came on for his first minutes of the season with twelve to go replacing Smith and he was quickly involved in setting up a chance for Patrick, driving at the defence he gave Brayford chance to drive in a low cross that Patrick controlled and spun around on before flashing a shot across the face of goal.
But Albion were to pay the price for missing good chances when Oxford struck with five minutes to go, substitute Holland in the right place to convert a perfect cross from Sykes.
It looked like that was going to be in until Mousinho's late introduction as a substitute and his big impact on the game.
ALBION: Garratt; Brayford, Shaughnessy, Leak, Hamer; Oshilaja (Taylor 51), O'Connor; Akins, Powell, Smith (Rowe, 78); Patrick.
Substitutes: Balcombe, Borthwick-Jackson, Blake-Tracy, Radcliffe, Nyahwema.
GOALS: ALBION - Mousinho og (90+6) OXFORD - Holland (85)
Referee: Sebastian Stockbridge