npower League 2 action from St James' ParkBurton Albion slipped to a third league defeat of the season as Exeter City made it three wins on the bounce with an ultimately comfortable 3-0 victory at St James' Park.
Worryingly for Albion it is now three out of four League games this season that Albion have failed to score in although they created enough chances against the Grecians to have deserved more but they need to stop conceding goals and rediscover their scoring touch as soon as possible.
After a good spell of Albion pressure the hosts took the lead through experienced striker Jamie Cureton and were two up through Arron Davies by the break with substitute John O'Flynn rounding off the scoring just before the end.
Brewers boss Gary Rowett kept faith with the team that impressively dumped Championship side Leicester City out of the Capital One Cup in the week. After his first start on Tuesday night, Calvin Zola reported fit to keep his place as the focal point of the Brewers attack and the only change was on the bench where Nathan Stanton, rested in midweek, returned to the bench in place of Andy Corbett.
The Grecians had a lot of the early play and there were only three minutes on the clock when Ross Atkins was forced into making a save low to his left as Alan Gow tried his luck from just outside the area.
Albion settled and began to play the ball around with confidence. The first chance for the Brewers came in the tenth minute as Lee Bell sprayed the ball out wide to Cleveland Taylor and he was able to pick out Calvin Zola in the middle but his header from ten yards out was held low to his left by ex-Albion keeper Artur Krysiak.
Consolidating a good start Jacques Maghoma was keen to add to his goalscoring feats so far this season and when he had chance to shoot on the quarter of an hour mark his effort was on target but easy for Krysiak to deal with.
Almost against the run of play it was Exeter who took the lead in the 19th minute. A corner from the left was half cleared and when the ball was put back into the middle Alan Gow got a header on and Jamie CURETON was prowling on the edge of the six yard box to poke home a shot beyond Atkins.
Gow was proving to be a real danger for City and he went close himself on 26 minutes doing well to cut in from the left and jink his way into the area only to fire into the side netting.
Albion had a chance from a set piece on the half hour but after Zola was bundled over thirty yards from goal, Chris Palmer was unable to recreate his heroics of Tuesday night, curling a left footed effort wide of the post.
Exeter had a set piece themselves not long after and they were similarly off target. Gow swinging in a free kick that was half cleared with left back Craig Woodman lashing a twenty five yarder over the crossbar.
There was almost a calamitous moment of defending from Albion in the 36th minute as Anthony O'Connor tried a suicidal back pass that Cureton almost got to ahead of Atkins, the Albion keeper having to hack it clear, unable to pick the ball up from the backpass.
The hosts did have their second in the 41st minute as they scored through Arron DAVIES. Exeter benefitted from a throw in that should not have been theirs and Liam Sercombe curled in a cross that Cureton headed back from the far post and Davies crashed home a shot that Atkins got his hands too but could not keep out.
Almost immediately the Brewers were forced into changing their shape if they were to recover and Billy Kee was introduced in place of Chris Palmer.
Albion were almost back in it in stoppage time as Lee Bell worked the room for a shot on the edge of the area but Krysiak got across to palm away the shot that was creeping inside the post.
Half time: Exeter City 2-0 Burton Albion
Davies was close to his second less than ninety seconds into the second period. A rapid break by Exeter saw Cureton and Gow work the ball wide for the former Yeovil man who beat Atkins with a shot but watched on as Marcus Holness got back to clear off the line.
Atkins then had to be on his toes to push away another effort from Gow after he had all too easily skipped around Cleveland Taylor on the edge of the box. Albion quickly broke up the field and O'Connor was able to curl in a cross from the right that Kee got his head to but could not steer onto the target.
The half seemed to be meandering along but on the hour mark Albion had some pressure with a couple of corners that had the Grecians stretched but they were eventually able to relieve the pressure after Krysiak spilled a cross but was saved by his defence.
Weir lashed a left foot shot over as Albion sought in vain to reduce the deficit and in the 64th minute Justin Richards was thrown into the fray with Taylor the man sacrificed.
Kee almost embarrassed Krysiak in the 66th minute with a curling effort that the Exeter keeper seemed to misjudge but somehow he got enough on it to see the ball around the post for a corner.
As the game began to open up Richards tried an ambitious shot from a tight angle that Krysiak dealt with comfortably and as play quickly switched to the other end Liam Sercombe forced Atkins to push a low effort around the post.
Albion continued to press but always looked vulnerable to a speedy counter attack. However it just did not seem to be Albion's day in front of goal especially when Damien McCrory smashed in a shot that seemed to hit Krysiak, tha ball came out to Richards who was foiled again by Krysiak who watched the ball cannon onto the post, back off the keeper and then being cleared.
Having picked up a knock a few minutes earlier Lee Bell was forced off to be replaced by Adi Yussuf meaning that Albion had all four of their strikers on the pitch for the closing ten minutes.
Robbie Weir fired a low cross through the six yard box in the 82nd minute but Zola throwing himself at the ball could not get anything on it as another chance went begging for the Brewers who had created enough chances without having the finishing touch.
Exeter missed a great chance to finally put the game to bed in the 85th minute as lively substitute Guillem Bauza surged into the area and pulled the ball back for Davies but he wastefully blazed over the crossbar.
Bauza then had a go for himself working space on the edge of the box to curl a twenty yard effort just wide of the post with Atkins beaten.
The Spaniard had a hand in the third goal when it did come in the 89th minute getting the to the bye line and firing across the box for fellow substitute John O'FLYNN to tap home from close range.
It capped off a miserable afternoon for the Brewers and it almost got worse in stoppage time as O'Flynn drilled a low effort wide of the far post after breaking clear.
EXETER: Krysiak, Woodman, Bennett, Baldwin, Coles (Moore-Taylor, 90), Sercombe, Oakley, Gow (Bauza, 82), Davies, Cureton (O'Flynn, 73), Amankwaah. Substitutes: Evans, Tully, Doherty, Frear.
ALBION: Atkins; O'Connor, Diamond, Holness, McCrory; Taylor (Richards, 64), Weir, Maghoma, Bell (Yussuf, 79), Palmer (Kee, 43); Zola. Substitutes: Lyness, Webster, Stanton, Dyer.
Substitutes: C.Boyeson (East Yorkshire)
GOALS: Exeter - Cureton (19), Davies (41), O'Flynn (89)
Attendance: 3,707 (112 away)