KIERAN Wallace's first senior goal set the Brewers on their way to a comprehensive 3-0 victory over Scunthorpe United to make it five games unbeaten for Nigel Clough's increasingly confident side
The former Nottingham Forest and Sheffield United man steered home a header on 39 minutes to give his side a well deserved lead after they had pushed and probed without success for most of the first half at a ground where Albion had not won in three previous visits.
Lucas Akins and Liam Boyce both scored in the second half to keep the race for leading goalscorer interesting and ram home Albion's dominance of the game and secure a more than satisfying result after the disappointment of FA Cup defeat on the same ground back in November.
The only selection dilemma facing the Brewers boss following the impressive draw at Sunderland on Tuesday evening was how to fill the void left by skipper Jake Buxton missing out with a tight calf. In the end the decisin was to go with Wallace as the left side of the central defensive pairing alongside Kyle McFadzean.
On the back of their run of four games unbeaten it was Albion who started full of confidence and with the home side showing early signs of nerves it was Boyce having the first shot in anger of the game as early as the fourth minute. Good pressure from Scott Fraser and Akins setting him up for a 25 yard effort that was dealt with by home keeper Jak Alnwick.
The home side began to grow into the game with a couple of dangerous free kicks and corners that threatened to unsettled the changed Brewers backline but it was still Albion looking the more composed side. James Perch picked up the first yellow card of the game from referee Graham Salisbury for a very untidy challenge on Marcus Harness who was enjoying a lively start to the game.
Alnwick was again called into action on 16 minutes when a low cross from Colin Daniel was only half cleared and Akins seized on the loose ball to turn and fire in a first time shot that was straight at the waiting keeper.
The Iron stopper had to be quick off his line on 26 minutes when Harness threaded a ball through the Scunthorpe defence that Akins darted after and got to just before the keeper but always stretching Akins couldnt quite control it to make anything of the chance.
Even when Scunthorpe did manage to get forwards Albion were quick to counter on them and one such raid on 35 minutes almost presented Daniel with his first goal in a Burton shirt. Fraser led the break out from the edge of his own box before Harness was freed up to send the Brewers left back away towards the edge of the box. There is no doubting that his ball into the middle was a hopeful cross but it was mightily close to dropping over Alnwick and into the corner of the net as it just missed the angle of post and bar.
Within a minute United had a good chance of their own when midfielder Jordan Hallam found himself free in the box but as he turned to shoot Wallace was there to close him down and block the ball at close range.
Albion hit back with a spell of pressure and Allen's trickery inside the box won a corner that the midfielder delivered onto the head of Boyce, the Brewers leading scorer forcing an excellent save from Alnwick with a powerful header. However from the second corner there was nothing Alnwick could do as Kyle McFadzean headed back into the danger area for WALLACE to guide a header in off the post. It was a lead that Albion had certainly merited on the balance of play.
Half time: Scunthorpe United 0-1 Burton Albion
Both sides traded early corners as the second half got underway but with neither side able to seriously test the opposing keeper. Stephen Quinn became the second name in referee Salisbury's book when he was late into a challenge on half time substitute Clayton Lewis on half way.
The home side were posing more of a threat as they pushed up the field further and put more balls into the Burton box but McFadzean and Wallace were handling everything that came their way.
At the other end Albion doubled their lead half way through the second period as Daniel persisted down the left and eventually picked out a peach of a cross for AKINS to thunder home his twelfth goal of the season. Alnwick was so comprehensively beaten he didnt even more for it.
And Albion could have been three to the good almost straight away as Fraser tried to thread a ball through for Harness and the winger was only denied his shot on goal by an excellent tackle from Perch that took the ball off his toe.
The goal that had the home fans heading for the exits with over fifteen minutes remaining was something for Albion fans to stay behind and remember. There didnt appear to be much on when BOYCE picked up the ball on the edge of the box but the striker, perhaps seeing Alnwick slightly off his line, lobbed the ball towards the back post and then wheeled away in delight as it dropped in off the inside of the post.
Scunthorpe thought they had a rare moment of cheer straight afterwards when skipper Rory McArdle headed home from a deep free kick.....only for an offside flag to cut short the muted celebrations.
Albion though were in the mood for more and Allen was closed to a rare headed goal before Boyce lashed a twenty five yard effort goalwards. Boyce would not get a chance to add to his tally for the afternoon as he was replaced by Alex Bradley in the closing stages before Reece Hutchinson also gave Marcus Harness a well earned rest as well.
A final change saw Ben Fox get some more minutes under his belt in place of Fraser.
Perch blasted a late chance for United over the bar as the home side looked for any crumbs of comfort from the afternoon but Albion were also worthy of their clean sheet on a blustery afternoon in Lincolnshire as their late season form continues with four wins and a draw from the last five games.