npower League 2 action from SpotlandMatt Paterson's 52nd minute goal on his full League debut for the Brewers was enough to extend Albion's 100% win record in the League against Rochdale.
The Brewers had to battle hard against John Coleman's resilient Dale side and a fine strike from outside the area for the former Southampton youngster was the difference as Albion ground out a clean sheet and a first away win of the season.
In search of their first away points of the season the Brewers showed three changes to the starting line up from last Saturday's excursion to Exeter City. New signing Stuart Tomlinson was drafted straight into first team action in place of Ross Atkins who dropped to the bench. Marcus Holness was fortunate enough to play against his former team but Nathan Stanton had to settle for a place amongst the substitutes. In something of a surprise in midfield Cleveland Taylor only made the bench as Chris Palmer took his place on the right hand side of midfield. In a return to 4-4-2 it was Matt Paterson who was asked to join Calvin Zola in attack for the Brewers. The bench looked strong with Dean Lyness and Adi Yussuf the unlucky two to miss on a place in the matchday squad altogether.
It was the Brewers with the first effort on goal in just the fourth minute but Calvin Zola could only steer Chris Palmer's cross over the bar.
Albion were close again in the seventh minute as Rochdale looked susceptible to balls into their box. Lee Bell's free kick was right into the danger area and Zander Diamond was only inches away from connecting with as he slid in.
The Brewers were quickly forced into a change on the right side of midfield, Chris Palmer had to receive treatment off the pitch for several minutes and was unable to continue meaning Jack Dyer coming on as a straight replacement.
Fourteen minutes in and it was almost a dream return to Spotland for defender Marcus Holness, Dyer's corner was perfect for the young ex-Dale man and he smashed a volley towards goal that was well saved by Josh Lillis.
The hosts were decidedly rocky at the back and a towering header from Zander Diamond gave Zola the chance to turn his man and volley over the angle of post and bar from 22 yards.
The hosts came to life shortly after and Bobby Grant was only inches away with a stunning left foot effort that undoubtedly had Tomlinson hastily checking his angles.
Matt Paterson was next to try his luck for the Brewers in the 20th minute. Given far too much room to turn inside the box he fired in a low shot that Lillis did well to save.
Rochdale were handed a chance to open their account in the 23rd minute. Jack Dyer was penalised for a dangerously high foot just outside the box but Tomlinson got down well to keep out Grant's curling effort from the free kick.
It was a much more even contest now and Ray Putterill was denied by a good block inside the area from Anthony O'Connor despite the shouts of handball from the Rochdale man.
Tomlinson again had to come to his side's rescue with a good stop at his near post from Jason Kennedy's effort after a well worked corner kick routine.
The home side continued to look dangerous with former Albion triallist Dele Adebola the focal point of their attack and looking dangerous whenever the ball was played up to him.
Albion responded well having soaked up the Rochdale pressure and were close to a goal themselves as the half came to a close. A long throw from Damien McCrory was only cleared as far as Anthony O'Connor. The young Irish defender picked out Calvin Zola with his cross but the striker could only steer a header just wide of the post.
The Brewers had a stroke of luck in first half stoppage time though. There appeared to be a foul on Lee Bell as he headed clear under pressure and when Putterill struck low shot back towards goal the ball struck Adebola, still picking himself up from his challenge on Bell, and fell wide of the goal.
Half time: Rochdale 0-0 Burton Albion
After a bright start to the second half Albion struck the first blow in the 52nd minute and a fine strike it was. Jack Dyer's ball in from the right found Zola on the edge of the box. His cushioned ball down was right into the path of Matt PATERSON and the striker making his full League debut for the club struck an excellent curling shot beyond Lillis.
Rochdale came back at the Brewers in search of an equaliser and there were nervous moments in the Brewers back line when Putterill let fly with a long range shot, the ball looping up off Bell and falling over the crossbar to the relief of Tomlinson.
The home side were close again on 66 minutes when the lively Andrew Tutte slung in a cross from the right that was only just too high for Adebola in the centre of the penalty area.
Rochdale threw on Ashley Grimes and the former Lincoln and Millwall striker was quickly sending a raking pass out wide for Grant. The summer signing tried to cut inside McCrory just inside the area and went to ground with referee Andy Haines waving away shouts for a penalty.
The home side was storming forwards and skipper Peter Cavanagh swept a 30 yard effort goalwards with Tomlinson watching it go just past the post.
The home captain was then quickly into the referee's book for a late challenge on Zola and before the resulting free kick could be taken Albion brought Cleveland Taylor on in place of the goal scorer Paterson.
Rochdale continued to press but Jacques Maghoma really should have made it two on 79 minutes as the home side waited for a free kick that didnt come. Zola challenged Ryan Edwards and when the defender stayed down the space opened up for Maghoma to dash into the area but his shot was kept out by the outstretched leg of Josh Lillis in the Rochdale goal.
Rochdale made their final change with six minutes to go in a final attempt to salvage something from the game. Striker Craig Curran was given a home debut as skipper Cavanagh was sacrificed from defence.
Dale had a spot of good fortune in the 86th minute as Albion looked to put the game to bed. Cleveland Taylor jinked his way into a good position from the left and his attempted cross beat everyone and bounced back out off the far post with Zola unable to tuck away the loose ball.
Zola was then replaced by Justin Richards for the final few minutes as Albion tried to see out the game.
Richards was then harshly penalised on the half way line for a foul on Matt Pearson as both battled for the ball. It certainly saved Rochdale with Richards in the clear had the foul not been given.
Dale kept piling the ball into the box and in their desperation to equalise Adebola and substitute George Donnelly collided with each and the chance was gone.
ROCHDALE: Lillis, Cavanagh, R.Edwards, Kennedy (Grimes, 66), Tutte, P.Edwards, Putterill (Donnelly, 78), McIntyre, Adebola, Pearson, Grant. Substitutes: Rafferty, Bennett, Donnelly, Curran, Barry-Murphy, Smith.
ALBION: Tomlinson; O'Connor, Holness, Diamond, McCrory; Palmer( Dyer, 9), Bell, Weir, Maghoma; Zola, Paterson (Taylor, 71). Substitutes: Atkins, Corbett, Webster, Stanton, Richards.
Referee: Mr. A.Haines (Tyne & Wear)
GOALS: Albion - Paterson (52)