npower League 2 action from the Pirelli StadiumBurton Albion were unable to make it two home wins in a week as League newcomers Fleetwood Town notched their first Football League goal and win, inronically thanks to a Burton born player, Dean Howell whose deflected free kick just after half time was ultimately the difference between the two sides in an hard fought, evenly contested match.
After the stunning 6-2 victory against AFC Wimbledon the team selection was an easy one for Gary Rowett with an unchanged starting line-up but changes to the bench as Lee Bell and Marcus Holness both returned after suspension but unable to break straight back into the starting eleven.
Fleetwood came to the Pirelli still searching for their first win and first goal in the Football League and with former Albion midfielder Lee Fowler in midfield and summer triallist Youl Mawene in the back four.
An even first half saw both sides have chances without the quality to find the back of the net.
Man mountain striker Jon Parkin evaded his man at the back post to head back across in the early stages forcing a save from Atkins as his defence helped him out with the eventual clearance.
Albion responded well and both Jacques Maghoma and Billy Kee were close to scoring with efforts just wide of the goal, firstly from an ambitious volley from outside the area and Kee close with a free kick that curled just wide of the upright.
Justin Richards should have done better when he pounced on a loose pass from ex Brewer Lee Fowler but having got to the edge of the area the striker seemed to be in two minds what to do and he ended up scuffing a tame effort wide of the goal.
Billy Kee got in behind the defence as Albion attacked again and only a good save from Davies kept Albion out with the Fleetwood keeper also having to stop Cleveland Taylor pouncing on the rebound to score.
Albion continued to press but Fleetwood's defence held firm and they almost caught the Brewers on the counter as Fowler found David Ball down the right and the ex-Peterborough man cut back inside onto his left before firing just wide as Albion back pedalled.
Half time: Burton Albion 0-0 Fleetwood Town
Just two minutes into the second half and the deadlock was broken as Dean HOWELL scored Fleetwood's first ever Football League goal. Damien McCrory was harshly penalised for a foul on Shaun Beeley down the right and when Howell swung over a left footed free kick the ball took a deflection off a Burton head before nestling in the far corner of the net.
Kee again tried his luck from a set piece in the 57th minute as Cleveland Taylor was brought down twenty five yards from goal but this time Scott Davies in the Fleetwood goal was equal to the task holding on gratefully on his line.
Both sides made changes around the hour mark. Fleetwood introduced Conor McLaughlin for David Ball and there was a double change for Albion as Lee Bell and Adi Yussuf replaced Jack Dyer and Justin Richards for the final half an hour.
Albion raised the tempo and Maghoma eventually showed a clean pair of heels to Damien Johnson and forced another parried save from Davies, referee Tony Harrington doing well to eventually go back and book Johnson for an attempted cynical trip on Albion's flying winger.
Fleetwood made their second change with Jon Parkin replaced by former Colchester striker Steven Gillespie and Albion made their third change with a quarter of an hour to go as Calvin Zola was thrown on in place of Cleveland Taylor.
Gillespie was close to a goal just minutes after coming on as he threw himself at Junior Brown's left wing cross.
Maghoma was looking like Albion's best hope of an equaliser and after another tantalising run across the edge of the penalty area only the heels of Steve McNulty stopped his shot testing Davies.
The Brewers were throwing everything at the Cod Army who were having to dig in for their lives and there were hands on heads in the 88th minute as Yussuf dragged a left foot shot just beyond the far post as Albion seemed to have unlocked the key to the Fleetwood defence.
It looked as though it might be the last chance for the Brewers bbut Billy Kee had other ideas and as the clock passed ninety minutes the striker drilled a low effort inches past the post.
There was another late chance deep into five minutes of added time but Yussuf was unable to steer Kee's cross beyond Davies at his near post.
BURTON: Atkins; O'Connor, Stanton, Diamond, McCrory; Taylor, Dyer, Weir, Maghoma; Richards, Kee. Substitute: Webster, Zola, Palmer, Yussuf, Lyness, Holness, Bell.
FLEETWOOD: Davies, Beeley, Howell, McNulty, Parkin, Fowler, Nicholson, Brown, Johnson, Ball, Mawene. Substitutes: Milligan, Goodall, McLaughlin, Maxwell, McGuire, Gillespie, Marrow.
Referee: Mr. T.Harrington (Cleveland)
GOAL: Fleetwood - Howell (47)