JONNY Smith had a debut to remember coming off the bench to snatch a 90th minute winner for Albion against promotion chasing Hull City
In a game pf precious few chances Smith had the only on-target attempts in the whole game after arriving as a second half replacement but showed coollness aplenty to slide the ball home with the clock ticking into the final minute of normal time to give the Brewers survival hopes a huge boost.
All nine of the January signings featuring in the matchday squad for the visit of the promotion-chasing Tigers. Hayden Carter continued in defence having already featured twice since joining from Blackburn Rovers. He was joined in the back four by debutants Tom Hamer and Josh Earl with skipper John Brayford completing the back four. Further up the pitch there were full debuts for Josh Parker and Sean Claire, substitutes against Ipswich with Ryan Broom making it five full debuts for the Brewers. Fellow January newcomers Terry Taylor and Jonny Smith were joined by Dillon Barnes amongst the seven named substitutes.
Any questions about the formation were answered quickly with Broom evidently deployed in a roaming role behind Hemmings in a 4-4-1-1 set-up.
Hull conjured up the first real attempt on ten minutes with Keane Lewis-Potter making a good connection with Callum Elder's cross but just unable to keep his header on target.
Albion's response was a barnstorming run up the left from Earl three minutes later ending with a low cross that was agonisingly inches away from Hemmings in the middle although Lucas Akins recovered the ball to slide an effort just wide of the post.
An injury to visiting skipper Richie Smallwood led to a delay that ultimately saw the midfielder take no further part in the game and resulted in the introduction of Regan Slater.
On a heavy surface flowing football was difficult but despite the significant difference in league placings the new-look Brewers more than held their own.
In Dan Crowley the visitors looked to have a midfielder capable of opening up a defence and the former Arsenal youngster and he went close with a curling effort from the edge of the box having done well to create the opening.
However the game got to half time without either keeper being troubled by an on-target effort as both sides sought to try and impose themselves on proceedings.
Half time: Burton Albion 0-0 Hull City
With Hemmings having struggled towards the end of the first half afetr picking up a knock it was not that much of a surprise that he failed to reappear for the second half. His departure saw Joe Powell come on into a central midfield role meaning Ryam Broom moving out wide as Akins moved up front.
It continued to be a game where defences were in the ascendency, something Clare tried to do with a long range effort on 52 minutes sending his effort wide of the post from a lay-off by Parker.
Hull went closest yet on 56 minutes, Greg Docherty driving forward and as the space opened up sending a rising ffort onto the top of the crossbar.
With Broom also feeling the effects of a knock there was a debut for Smith from the bench and the former Bristol City man almost broke the deadlock with a fierce shot from a tight angle that forced George Long in the Hull goal to besat it away at his near post.
Terry Taylor also made a debut from the bench replacing Ryan Edwards, the Australian having picked up a yellow card in the first half and perhaps ridden his luck with a couple of early second half challenges
Smith again proved lively on the right and his ball into the middle forced Long to parry before Parker somehow managed to put the loose ball wide under pressure inside the six yard box.
A foul on Parker gave Albion a chance from a set piece and Powell it was that curled the free-kick just wide of the target.
But Parker had a huge say in the destiny of the points picking up a loose clearance to send it back nto the edge fo the box where SMITH showed great skill to control before rolling it into the bottom corner.