ALBION suffered opening day defeat as Blackpool secured a 2-0 victory on their return to League One.
A dominant first half from the Seasiders saw striker Shayne Lavery score twice in six first half minutes midway through the opening period to make a tricky opening game look even harder.
Joe Powell went closest for Albion on a couple of occasions as the Brewers fought for a route back into the game but the hosts were able to control the game and keep Albion at bay in a more even second half.
Dino Maamria handed debuts to five of his summer signings on the opening day of the season. Jamal Blackman got the nod in goal, making his 150th EFL appearances in the process whilst Steve Seddon was the new face at left wing back. Rekeem Harper made his 100th EFL appearance on his Brewers debut in the centre of midfield whilst Cole Stockton and Josh Gordon made their Brewers bow in attacking roles.
Jake Beesley thought he had put Blackpool ahead inside thirty seconds as the hosts looked to make a fast start, but the flag of the assistant quickly quelled the cheers from the home crowd.
Skipper John Brayford found himself an early addition to referee Seb Stockbridge’s notebook for a foul on Shayne Lavery and Tom Hamer had to extend himself to turn the resulting free-kick behind as the home side continued to press.
Albion looked to have seen off the early Blackpool pressure but were caught on nineteen minutes when Albie Morgan tried to trick his way through a crowded penalty area with a fortunate bounce sending the ball into the path of LAVERY who could not miss from close range.
Former Charlton man Morgan almost added a second moments later running through on goal but sending a right foot effort wide of the far post.
LAVERY added a second on 26 minutes applying enough pressure to Sam Hughes to win possession and even though the Albion man recovered the striker’s shot looped up and over Blackman to double the home side’s advantage.
Stockton directed a header on target that Daniel Grimshaw had to claim underneath his crossbar but Albion were perhaps fortunate to survive another chance when Beesley was able to control the ball on his chest on the edge of the area but only fire his shot straight at Blackman.
Joe Powell forced a good save from Grimshaw in first half added time, a curling, dipping effort that required an awkward, twisting save.
HALF-TIME – BLACKPOOL 2-0 BURTON ALBION
Powell had Albion’s first chance of the second half from a long range free-kick that was charged down before Lavery tried to bag his hat-trick with a driving run into the box, Brayford getting the all-important block to deny him.
The second half soon settled down and on the hour mark Stockton tried to hook a difficult chance inside the post but found his effort bouncing the wrong side of the post.
Moments later and Gordon found himself through with a chance but his effort took a crucial deflection off Marvin Ekpiteta to only earn a corner.
Powell tried his luck on his less-favoured right foot on 73 minutes but Grimshaw made sure he got everything behind it on the greasy surface to save at his post.
A double change from Albion saw Harper replaced by Deji Oshilaja and Bobby Kamwa replace Gordon for the final quarter of an hour as Maamria looked for something to change the course of the game. A third change quickly followed with Jake Caprice replacing Seddon, the summer signing slotting in on the right as Hamer took over at left wing-back.
Neither side seriously threatened late on as Blackpool took the spoils at the start of another long season.
ALBION: Blackman; Brayford, Hughes, Moon; Hamer, Harper (Oshilaja, 76), Powell, Seddon (Caprice, 81); Helm, Gordon (Kamwa, 76); Stockton.
Substitutes: Crocombe, Sweeney, Chauke, Carayol.
GOALS: BLACKPOOL – Lavery (19, 25)
Referee: Sebastian Stockbridge