pre-season action from the Pirelli StadiumBurton Albion rounded off their pre-season schedule against Neil Warnock's Leeds United side with Gary Rowett very conscious of Saturday's Capital One Cup fixture against Sheffield United in terms of his team selection. And the former Brewers boss who made his name with the club in the early 1980's made a winning return but only thanks to Luke Varney's first half goal.
Albion epitomised their new found resilience by keeping their visitors at bay for long periods and offering good protection to young keeper Dean Lyness who had very few saves to make thanks to the back four in front of him.
Whilst Leeds put out a very strong side there was a number of triallists for the Brewers including Derby youngster Chris Jones at right back, Former Chesterfield midfielder Dean Morgan out wide and a former Manchester United youngster Floribert N'Galula in the middle. There was also a trial for former Bristol Rovers centre half Byron Anthony.
Paul Green had an early chance to open the scoring for the visitors but his header was off target and as the visitors maintained the early pressure.
Chris Jones had to do well to come across and prevent Jason Pearce from getting onto the end of a near post cross and Green also forced a save from Dean Lyness in the Burton goal from a Ross McCormack header.
Justin Richards and Billy Kee worked hard up front for the Brewers but against a full strength Leeds defence found real chances hard to come by.
The visitors finally broke the deadlock in the 29th minute when a long ball into the box found Luke VARNEY and the former Derby striker rolled a simple shot into the net although there was more than a suspicion of a push on Jones and a handball to control the ball as it came down.
Chris Palmer fired over from the left hand side and Billy Kee forced Paddy Kenny to go down low to his left to save as Albion tried to respond.
Just as the half time whistle was about to blow Albion had another attempt on goal as Morgan unleashed a shot from distance again forcing Kenny to go down to his left to keep the ball out.
Half time: Burton Albion 0-1 Leeds United
Albion made a substitution at the start of the second half with triallist Matt Paterson brought on for Justin Richards and within ninety seconds the former Southend man could have been on the scoresheet. A long ball forward sent the striker one on one with Paddy Kenny but Paterson struck his shot low and allowed the Leeds keeper to save.
Leeds were next to threaten as Aaron Webster failed to cut out a ball down the right and Luciano Becchio was able to cross into the middle. Marcus Holness got his head to the ball and sent it back towards his own goal with Lyness having to leap to his left to prevent an own goal.
Billy Kee was given until the hour mark and was then substituted by Cleveland Taylor for the last half an hour.
Leeds quickly had another chance to double their lead as Peltier swung in a teasing cross and it was Pearce, the centre half who leapt highest to guide his header off the target.
The centre half was then called into action to clear strongly from Paterson as he challenged at the near post. This was all after the game had been disrupted by half a dozen substitutions for Leeds and two more for Albion that saw Nathan Stanton replace Aaron Webster meaning a defensive reshuffle and Matty Palmer come on for N'Galula.
Young striker Evan Garnett got the last thirteen minutes to try and make sort sort of impression as he replaced Morgan in a wide midfield position.
Young substitute Sam Byram almost crowned his cameo appearance with a superb goal as he showed instant control down the right before cutting back inside Jones, now occupying the left back role, and volleying beyond the far post from just inside the box.
Jack Green, another product of the club's youth programme, made a late appearance replacing triallist Chris Jones with six minutes to go.
Although Leeds continued to press they could not score again and ended up winning the game courtesy of Varney's first half strike.
Burton: Lyness, Jones (Green, 84), Webster (Stanton, 67), Richards (Paterson, 46), C.Palmer, N'Galula (M.Palmer, 67), Morgan (Garnett, 79), Holness, Dyer, Anthony, Kee (Taylor, 61). Substitutes: Atkins, McCrory, Green.
Leeds: Kenny (Ashdown, 67), Peltier (Byram, 67), Lees, Pearce (Kisnorbo, 67), Green, Austin (Pugh, 72), Becchio (Gray, 67), Varney (Rogers, 79), Norris, White (Drury, 67), McCormack (Brown, 67).
Referee: Mr O.Langford (West Midlands)
Goals: Leeds - Varney (29)