Bass Charity Vase Final 2013Dominic Knowles was the last gasp hero for the Brewers as he completed Albion's comeback from two goals down to retain the Bass Charity Vase in a 3-2 victory for Gary Rowett's youthful Burton side.
Despite going two goals down inside seventeen minutes to Mason Bennett and Johnny Russell, goals either side of half time from triallist Michael Spillane and Michael Symes had Albion back on level terms before Knowles crowned the evening with the winner.
The Brewers fielded a defence that had Jack Dyer skippering the side from right back with Isaac Currie in the opposite full back berth and young centre back Liam Slade partnering triallist Michael Spillane in the middle. The 24 year old Jersey born defender was released by Southend United after a short spell at Roots Hall in the second half of last season and is now looking for a new club for the 2013-14 season. Alex MacDonald, Adam Reed, Matty Palmer and Jimmy Phillips comprised the midfield with Dominic Knowles and Michael Symes forming the strike partnership.
The Rams brought an experienced side down showing just a handful of changes from the side that won at Brighton at the weekend.
And it was one of the young Derby products who opened the scoring on seven minutes as teen striker Mason Bennett gave Derby a flying start applying a clinical finish from close range. Alex MacDonald sold Spillane slightly short on the right and Michael Jacobs was onto it in a flash to drill the ball across the area for the England under 16 forward to strike.
Ten minutes later and Bennett turned provider with an excellent cross from the right that allowed Derby new boy Johnny Russell to confidently fire into the roof of the net.
Derby continued to play the better football but Burton were not without chances of their own and when MacDonald intercepted a loose ball on the right he cut inside and tried to steer the ball inside the top corner off the outside of his boot but curled the ball over the crossbar.
Michael Jacobs almost added a third for the Rams on 35 minutes when he picked up the pieces on the edge of the box from Michael Symes clearing header but his low shot was fortunately straight at Dean Lyness.
Albion were back in the contest on the stroke of half time. Adam Smith was shown a yellow card by Premiership referee Andre Marriner for two quick fouls in the space of thirty seconds and when Alex MacDonald whipped in a low free kick it took a decisive touch off Spillane to defeat Saul Deeney in the Rams goal.
The Brewers were then back on level terms barely four minutes after the restart. Matty Palmer started it with a ball inside the full back which allowed Dominic Knowles to advance and pick out Michael Symes just outside the six yard box for a simple finish beyond Deeney.
Derby were a matter of inches away from regaining their lead just five minutes later, a corner from the left falling for Jake Buxton who shaped himself to crash a shot off the face of the crossbar.
Dominic Knowles was close to getting on the scoresheet after sterling work from MacDonald down the right played Palmer into space and his ball across the box was begging to be smashed home but the young striker opted to take a touch looking for a better angle seeing his shot blocked.
A superb tackle on the edge of his own box by Jack Dyer was all that prevented Derby from getting their third as he tracked Michael Jacobs all the way to the edge of the Burton area before timing his interception to perfection.
Albion made a change for the final quarter of an hour with young forward Marcus Harness replacing Michael Symes.
However it was Alex MacDonald who stung the palms of Deeney on eighty minutes turning on a pass twenty five yards out and firing towards goal with Deeney gathering at the second attempt.
The final word however belonged to Knowles in the 90th minute. He timed his run perfectly to latch onto a through ball from Jimmy Phillips and although Deeney got something on the ball it had enough on it to still find the back of the net and win the Bass Charity Vase for the Brewers for another year.
BURTON: Lyness; Dyer, Spillane, Slade, Currie; MacDonald, Reed, Palmer, Phillips; Symes, Knowles. Substitutes: Harness, Doyle, O'Brien, Horton.
DERBY: Deeney; Smith, Keogh (Coutts, 46), Hanson, Forsyth; Eustace; Davies, Bryson (Martin, 46), Jacobs; Bennett, Russell (Buxton, 46).