BURTON ALBION 2 - 1 DAGENHAM & REDBRIDGEBilly Kee was Burton Albion's saviour scoring a brace of goals in the space of four minutes to complete a remarkable turnaround just when it looked like bogey side Dagenham & Redbridge were going to go back to Essex with all three points. Albion had won only one of the previous fifteen meetings between the sides and it was looking like the same old story when veteran striker Jamie Cureton gave the Daggers an 18th minute lead showing all of his predatory instincts to get to the ball before keeper Jon McLaughlin to poke home.
As hard as they tried Albion huffed and puffed without success but when Kee came on as a substitute on the hour mark Albion found new attacking purpose. Having conceded nine goals in two games it looked as if the Daggers were going to battle their way to a clean sheet but Kee stroked home a penalty on 84 minutes after fellow substitute Marcus Harness had been brought down and the two combined again four minutes later for Kee to smash home a second and grab the points.
The Brewers line-up showed just one change to that which dumped Championship side Wigan Athletic out of the Capital One Cup. With Adam McGurk failing to shake off the back injury that forced him from the field in the first half on Tuesday Dominic Knowles was handed the chance to hopefully continue his scoring run having opened his account for the season against the Latics.
The Daggers mustered the first effort of note after five minutes, Ashley Chambers venturing forward as the Albion defence backed off but his shot lacked the precision to beat Jon McLaughlin.
The game took a long while to really get going but it was the visitors that broke the deadlock to stun Albion on 18 minutes. Former loanee Ashley Hemmings did well to win a header up against Ian Sharps and the ball fell for veteran striker Jamie CURETON to nudge the ball beyond McLaughlin before he could get there and the ball trickled almost apologetically into the net.
Albion tried to rouse themselves out of their lethargy with Alex MacDonald seeing a shot blocked at close range but visiting keeper Liam O'Brien remained relatively untroubled.
Lucas Akins had been anonymous thus far but once Albion got him into the game they immediately started to look a bit brighter. A surging run down the right sparked a low cross that the Daggers hacked clear and a burst from his own half brought John Mousinho into play, the former Preston man finding MacDonald on the left, his cross headed over the bar by Beavon.
By now Albion were seeing plenty of the ball but the quality in the final third was lacking. Akins was guilty of a couple of poor challenges that earned a lecture from referee Chris Kavanagh. Akins then fired over as Albion exerted some much needed pressure on thew Dagenham box, Beavon's downward header falling nicely for him on the angle with the Brewers scorer at Oxford unable to keep his effort down.
A disappointingly under par half found Albion continually frustrated even more so when keeper O'Brien came for a high ball into the box and got nowhere near it with a yellow shirt unable to prosper from it.
Half time: Burton Albion 0-1 Dagenham & Redbridge
Albion needed a positive start after the break and they certainly started on the front foot, Beavon denied a shooting opportunity by an offside flag. They came very close on 53 minutes as Mousinho slid a superb pass through to MacDonald and after taking a touch to control his low shot was somehow kept out by O'Brien. With Burton almost laying siege to the Daggers goal at this stage a scramble ensued that saw both Akins and Knowles blocked in their efforts to prod the ball home from close range.
Beavon showed his terrier like qualities to win the Brewers a corner on 59 minutes and hands were on heads as the ball found its way to Mousinho at the far post and his sidefoot effort dipped just over the bar.
A double change signalled a change in formation as well for Albion as they matched up Dagenham's 4-3-3. Alex MacDonald was sacrificed on the left hand side to make way for Matty Palmer and Billy Kee replaced Dominic Knowles in attack. Beavon pushed out to the left hand side of the attack with Akins joining the front three on the right.
The move certainly brightened Albion up and a flurry of corners gave Burton hope but the Daggers defence held firm. All too often it was a poor pass selection that cost Albion but it was a ball from the Daggers that set Beavon up with a shooting opportunity that O'Brien stretched all of his considerable frame to save.
Albion had big shouts for a penalty on 74 minutes as Kee went up to challenge for a header in the box and got flattened by Luke Howell in the process, referee Kavanagh showing no inclination to award the spot kick.
Marcus Harness was given the last thirteen minutes to try and turn the game around for the Brewers and it was John Mousinho that made way. Robbie Weir blazed a shot over the bar as Albion kept the pressure up but nothing was quite falling right for Gary Rowett's men.
Howell's luck soon ran out though as he was adjudged to have brought Harness down as he tried to get on the end of a blocked shot from Kee. After much protesting from the Dagenham defence it was KEE who placed the ball down on the spot and although O'Brien went the right way he could not keep out the penalty.
Four minutes later and the turnaround was complete. A long ball in from the right found Kee inside the box and he patiently waited for as chance to shoot but he had to settle for finding Harness . The young winger showed good composure to move wide and find space for a cross. His low ball in found KEE again and this time the striker worked room for a low shot that nestled inside the net off the inside of the far post.
Four minutes of added time were shown just at the moment when Albion wanted the whistle to go but there were no late scares as Burton held out for a hard fought win. They left it late but they got there in the end.