npower League 2 action from the Pirelli StadiumA battling draw for the second home game in a row extended Albion's unbeaten run to eight games as they came from behind to share the spoils with Bristol Rovers.
It was hardly the six goal classic that the Brewers conjured up against Northampton but a draw was a fair result as a sluggish first half saw the Brewers trail to David Clarkson's strike form just inside the box on the half hour mark with Billy Kee marking his return to the starting line up with the equaliser five minutes into the second half.
Kee, Cleveland Taylor and Jack Dyer all earned recalls to the starting line-up as Albion looked to extend their unbeaten run in the League to eight games. Kee replaced Matt Paterson in attack as Justin Richards kept his place against one of his former clubs and Taylor was included as Luke Rooney dropped to the bench. With Robbie Weir serving a one match ban for five yellow cards, Dyer was the ready replacement in the centre of midfield.
The visitors were positive from the outset as they looked to improve on an indifferent start to the season. German winger Fabian Broghammer had an early opportunity to burst into the Albion box but his low cross was hacked away by Damien McCrory.
Albion's first serious threat on goal was in the 14th minute. McCrory sent in a teasing free kick from just inside the Rovers half and Zander Diamond got up highest to steer a header wide of the upright.
Chances were not coming that easily for Albion and it took until the 20th minute for them to threaten again. Anthony O'Connor it was this time sending in a free kick that came to Jacques Maghoma at the back post and his deflected effort from a tight angle was only rewarded with a corner kick.
The Brewers continued to recover from their sluggish start and a sweeping move deserved better just before the half hour as Maghoma surged through several challenges before feeding Billy Kee who saw an angled shot saved at the near post by Neil Etheridge.
A minute later and Albion found themselves behind. Jim Paterson launched a hopeful ball into the box looking for Tom Eaves. The striker on loan from Bolton Wanderers went up with two Albion defenders and when the ball came down into the path of David CLARKSON, the former Bristol City man had far too much time and space to pick his spot and fire home from 15 yards.
Justin Richards went closest for Albion in the 39th minute after a piece of quick thinking from Dyer. Billy Kee was fouled midway into the Rovers half. Dyer quickly moved the ball forwards to Richards and he turned smartly on the edge of the box before firing just over the angle.
Kee had a deflected shot smothered by Etheridge at his near post and Maghoma also lashed a shot just wide with the Phillipines keeper scrambling across to cover his post.
It left Albion with an uphill battle in the second half to keep their unbeaten run in tact.
Half time: Burton Albion 0-1 Bristol Rovers
Albion started brightly but almost found themselves two behind within ninety seconds of the second half starting. Eaves held the ball up well on the left and fed the ball to Ollie Norburn. The former Leicester midfielder took aim and thought he had scored until Stuart Tomlinson got down well to his right to beat the ball away. The Albion stopper had to get back to his feet quickly as the ball came for Broghammer but the keeper was equal to his effort as well.
Similar to the first half Albion went up the other and and struck the equaliser on 50 minutes.
Anthony O'Connor was sent sprawling on the right hand side of the penalty area and when Lee Bell swept in the free kick all the attention was on Albion's big guns up from the back, so much so that Billy KEE was able to steer in a close range header and level matters up.
Eliot Richards quickly had a chance to restore the lead for the visitors but having forced himself wide with a poor touch he was then adjudged to have thrown himself to the ground and was shown a yellow card for diving.
Lee Bell quickly followed him into the book for a rash tackle on Norburn but it was Albion on the back foot and there was an escape when a low cross from the right was just out of the reach of Broghammer.
Billy Kee also went to ground, in similar vein to Richards, and saw yellow from referee Jeremy Simpson.
Zander Diamond continued to be a threat up from the back and he guided a header wide of goal on 68 minutes as he leapt to meet another McCrory free kick.
Cleveland Taylor almost capitalised on some sloppy defending in the 71st minute as Albion looked to snatch the lead. Kee, back defending lashed the ball clear and Taylor raced onto the ball before wildy shooting off target on his wrong foot as he got to the edge of the penalty area.
The winger was centre of attention again moments later on his more natural right hand side racing onto another pass from Kee before going crashing to the ground with referee Simpson waving away any shouts for a penalty.
Both teams seemed to have settled for a draw, particualrly when Rovers took over winger Joe Anyinsah and replaced him with defender Adam Virgo for the closing stages.
The fact that Albion sent on Adi Yussuf and Matt Paterson in exchange for Justin Richards and Billy Kee suggested that it was Albion who really wanted to win the game as it entered the closing stages.
Albion had a late chance from a set piece as Lee Bell swung in a near post free kick and Kenneth speared a header just wide of his own goal but there was to be no rousing finale as Albion kept their run going in the end.
BURTON: Tomlinson; O'Connor, Diamond, Kiernan, McCrory; Taylor, Bell, Dyer, Maghoma; Richards, Kee. Substitutes: Atkins, Corbett, Webster, Stanton, Yussuf, Paterson, Rooney.
BRISTOL ROVERS: Etheridge, Paterson, Kenneth, Parkes, Clarkson, Richards, Broghammer, Norburn, Anyinsah, Lund, Eaves. Substitutes: Smith, L.Brown, Harrison, Virgo, W.Brown, Staley, Walker.
Referee: Mr. J.Simpson (Lancashire)
GOALS: ALBION - Kee (50); ROVERS - Clarkson (30)