BURTON ALBION 2 - 1 WOLVESNigel Clough's wheeler dealing in the loan market paid instant dividends as January signings Michael Kightly and Cauley Woodrow scored on their home debuts to secure a first win in six home games for the Brewers.
Albion had to do it the hard way, falling behind five minutes before half time when £13m man Helder Costa slammed home a penalty after Jon McLaughlin sent Dave Edwards tumbling in the box chasing down a Matt Doherty cross.
Whatever was said in the dressing room at half time certainly did the trick as the Brewers produced an improved performance to not only equalise when Kightly tapped in from close range on the hour mark against his former club but, for the first time this season, go on to win from behind when Woodrow pounced inside the six yard box in the fourth minute of stoppage time to turn and fire home and secure a famous victory.
After the disappointment of Wednesday's defeat to an impressive Fulham side Clough at least had the option to use his three recent loan signings. Kightly, signed too late to feature against the Cottagers, lined up on the left hand side of a 4-4-2 against the side who gave him his big break after plucking him from non-league Grays Athletic. The Fulham pair of Woodrow and Danish under-21 international Lasse Vigen Christensen were also handed starts, Christensen deployed on the right wing and Woodrow paired with Marvin Sordell in attack.
For the first time this season there was no place in the starting line-up for either Lloyd Dyer or Matt Palmer. Dyer did not feature due to a slight calf strain, Palmer rested to the bench having started every league game so far this season. He would still have a part to play delivering the corner that led to the winner for Woodrow.
Albion had a great early chance to get ahead against their Black Country visitors. Tom Flanagan found himself overlapping on the right and his low cross was met by a first time shot from Christensen that went agonisingly over the bar.
The Brewers continued with their good start and there were vociferous shouts for a penalty when Christensen's Fulham team mate, Woodrow was seemingly bundled over from behind by Kortney Hause but referee Keith Stroud was having none of it.
Wolves began to come into the game more with a couple of corners that needed some watchful defending to see off the danger. There was no need for any worry though when some neat skill from striker Nouha Dicko gave him the chance to try a volley from 25 yards. His effort was high, wide and far from handsome.
The visitors had their own shouts for a penalty just after the quarter of an hour mark as Derby County loanee Andreas Weimann went up for a header trying to latch on to a booming cross from the right. Tom Flanagan came across to challenge him, a nudge in the back sent Weimann to the ground but again referee Stroud was unmoved.
Albion were forced into a defensive reshuffle less that half way through the first period, Damien McCrory struggling with a knock and coming off to be replaced by Tom Naylor. The substitute slotted in at right back with Flanagan switching to the opposite full back berth.
A poor touch from Christensen allowed Woles to counter but George Saville rather wasted the opportunity by going for a long range shot that was never troubling the goal.
Albion had a golden opportunity to get the first strike in on 29 minutes as some of their January new faces combined. Woodrow and Kightly linked well on the left allowing the latter to swing in a dangerous cross. Conor Coady made a hash of an attempted clearance handing the ball to Marvin Sordell. The Albion striker slipped at the vital moment and could only scuff a tame shot goalwards much to the relief of Coady.
A clash of herads between Naylor and Matt Doherty temporarily halted play but Wolves almost grabbed the lead from the restart. Dave Edwards stretched to intercept a pass from Naylor and Nouha Dicko was in on goal. Switching the ball onto his right foot he lashed in a shot that McLaughlin had to push away around the post at full stretch.
Wolves probed down the left and when a deep cross from Saville eluded everyone in the box McLaughlin was tempted to come out and claim it but he ended up bundling into Wolves skipper Dave Edwards and after a glance across to his assistant, this time referee Stroud pointed to the spot. £13m man Costa stepped up and smashed the penalty high into the roof of the net.
Normally the victims of goals in stoppage time it was Albion this time who went close to levelling matters in the time added on by referee Stroud. A swift break allowed Naylor to get in a cross from the right and Woodrow was frustrated to see his header go straight at keeper Carl Ikeme.
Half time: Burton Albion 0-1 Wolves
Albion began brightly after the break and looked more lively in the opening stages although Ikeme in the Wolves goal remained relatively untested. The Brewers were almost level on 57 minutes through debutant Kightly. The winger showed exquisite control to bring Naylor's angled ball under his spell. A quick touch to his right opened up the chance of a curling shot and the ball was bound for the top corner until Ikeme got a crucial touch to take it wide.
Ikeme also denied the former Wolves winger from a free kick moments later. Kightly was brought down in full flow by Richard Stearman, earning the big defender the first yellow card of the game. The new signing from Burnley picked himself up and took the free kick himself forcing another excellent save from Ikeme.
Albion managed to keep the pressure on and cometh the hour, cometh the equaliser. Christensen seemed to be bundled over by Coady as he turned in the box and when referee Stroud once again waved away appeals for a penalty, Sordell picked up the ball, cut inside a couple of challenges and laid the ball across for KIGHTLY to tap home. This time there was nothing Ikeme could do to stop him.
The Brewers were roused by their equaliser pushed for a second with Wolves defending stoutly to find their feet again and begin to look for a second goal themselves. Flanagan flashed a shot wide from a corner as Albion looked threatening from set pieces.
Wolves made a flurry of changes with attackers Bright Enobakhare, Ben Marshall and Jon Dadi Bodvarsson all sent on to try and prise open the Burton defence for a second time.
Albion also made changes as Kightly and Christensen, suffering from a lack of regular first team football, inevitably began to tire and necessitated the introduction of Lucas Akins and Matt Palmer.
Woodrow almost capped his full debut with a goal in normal time, a low shot from outside the box taking a deflection off Sordell that almost wrong footed Ikeme, the Wolves stopper readjusting well to drop on the ball on his goalline to keep things level.
Whilst the Wolves changes seemingly did little to improve their chances of finding a winner Albion found a second wind and when Palmer had the chance, late on in stoppage time, to test out Wolves defensive resolve from a corner. A half hearted header clear was seized upon by Flanagan who headed the ball back into the danger. Both Woodrow and Sordell were ready and waiting, the Fulham man applying the decisive left foot finish to send the Pirelli Stadium into raptures. What a finish!