LIAM Boyce bagged his first Brewers hat-trick to send Albion through to the third round of the Carabao Cup with a 4-0 victory over League Two Morecambe
The Northern Ireland striker powered home a 34th minute header to put Albion in front after a largely domincant first half hour before sliding in to grab his second on the stroke of half time. Ryan Edwards first Albion goal effectively sealed victory early in the second half before Boyce completed his treble from close range after Lucas Akins' header had been saved.
Brewers boss Nigel Clough made just the one change from Saturday's goalless draw at Shrewsbury. Boyce, who played the role of substitute at the weekend, came back into the side as skipper Jake Buxton took a breather on the bench.
Morecambe were almost ahead inside the opening moments as Lewis Alessandra found himself goalside of the Brewers defence, and onside, before Kieran O'Hara darted off his line to deny him.
As Albion found their attacking mojo both Scott Fraser and Stephen Quinn saw efforts deflected wide of the target before a speedy break down the left by Oliver Sarkic and Colin Daniel created a chance for Ryan Edwards, the midfielder pirouetting on the edge of the box before firing inches over the crossbar.
And as the Brewers attack began to click into gear Lucas Akins fired in a curling effort that Shrimps keeper Mark Halstead needed two attempts to save. Ryan Edwards corner then just eluded the head of John Brayford before Boyce tried to whip in a near post effort, a deflection off Ritchie Sutton making Halstead's job a touch trickier than it might have been.
Daniel picked up the first yellow card of the game inside twenty minutes for a late challenge on George Tanner as the Shrimps looked to break from their defensive shackles.
Boyce also had a good chance to head his side ahead but didnt quite get enough on his 28th minute effort as it drifted wide of the far post.
And Albion almost paid for their failure to score when Cole Stockton took a more direct route on 29 minutes firing in from distance and almost catching O'Hara unawares at his near post, the keeper dropping smartly to his left to grab the ball as it arrowed towards the bottom corner.
But the deadlock was finally broken on 34 minutes when Fraser's corner was met by a bullet header from BOYCE to put Albion in front. IT could have been two for Boyce soon after when he cut inside a defender inside the box but was foiled by an excellent save from Halstead.
And Halstead was earning his money again when Akins twisted and turned inside the box to get a clear sight of goal before the Morecambe keeper spread himself well to deny him.
Albion missed another chance to make it two on 43 minutes when Morecambe struggled to clear their lines and Boyce, from a very tight angle, fired across the goal and just wide of the far post.
On the stroke of half time Albion finally put a two goal gap between the two sides, Sarkic doing really well to control a raking pass from Brayford before firing in a low cross that BOYCE tucked inside the near post.
Half time: Burton Albion 2-0 Morecambe
A blistering start to the second half almost saw Albion add a third a minute after the restart, John-Joe O'Toole just unable to get over the ball as Fraser whipped in another dangerous corner. Akins also went close throwing himself full length to head a Fraser cross straight at Halstead. A yard either side and it was 3-0.
It was indeed 3-0 on 51 minutes as Albion swarmed all over the Shrimps with Brayford allowed to get tot he byeline and cross for EDWARDS to steer home a simple finish.
Veteran winger Kevin Ellison almost gave the Shrimps something of a lifeline, Alessandra's looping cross just perfect for him to muscle his way into a position to head just wide of the post.
And there were more warning signs for Albion when Alessandra got past O'Toole on the edge of the box but he could not find a way past O'Hara who stuck out a foot to send the ball wide of the post.
Stephen Quinn was close to a fifth with a rasping drive from 25 yards after more good work in midfield to set him up with Albion clearly looking for more goals with Joe Sbarra and David Templeton sent on as fresh legs in the attacking third and Richard Nartey given another run out at the back.
With all three substitutions made Albion had to see out the final minutes with just ten men when Daniel limped off after a challenge on the left hand side.
Sbarra, latching onto another fine pass from Sarkic saw a shot deflect and drop just wide of the post in stoppage time as Albion attacked to the last and Sarkic almost diverted the resulting corner home at the near post.