JAMIE Allen's sixth goal of the season proved to be the winner as the Brewers claimed a 2-1 victory over ten man Coventry City at the Ricoh Arena.
The midfielder punished a poor clearance from Sky Blues keeper Lee Burge on the hour mark to ensure that the Brewers returned to winning ways and ending the home sides five game unbeaten run.
Albion should arguably have been out of sight by half time after several chances to add to Lucas Akins' 19th minute opener were squandered and it looked as if they might pay heavily when Tom Bayliss equalised five minutes after the break. However the dismissal of Bright Enobakhare just five minutes later halted Coventry's momentum and allowed Albion to regain the initiative. Although the home side kept pushing forward looking for a second equaliser, despite their numerical disadvantage Albion's defence held firm and late chances to put the game to bed went begging but ultimately they mattered little as Nigel Clough's side claimed a notable away win.
For the Friday night trip to the Ricoh Arena there was just the one change to the side that battled to a goalless draw against Walsall last time out. John Brayford returned at right back with Liam Boyce dropping to the bench as Akins returned to a more attacking role to lead the line. Josh Clarke was amongst the substitute after his spell on the sidelines with an ankle problem.
Albion had to weather some early pressure from the Sky Blues in the opening quarter of an hour as they dominated possession but it was the Brewers who had, arguably, the best chance in that period when a Stephen Quinn free kick was not cleared to any great effect and as Albion built around the Coventry box an opening eventually came for Akins, his shot on the turn going straight at Burge in the home goal.
Bayliss had a decent sight of goal on 18 minutes when a stray pass eventually came to him on the edge of the box but Jake Buxton was there to block and head clear his well drilled effort.
Albion's growing confidence in the game bore fruit when they took the lead on 19 minutes. There was plenty of space on Albion's right hand side for Allen to burst into before finding Marcus Harness in an even more advanced position. The former Sky Blues youngster stood his marker up before firing in a low cross that AKINS was there to turn home.
Whilst Coventry looked lively in attack there was a vulnerability about their defending and there was a great opportunity for the Brewers to open the home side up again when David Templeton pushed on through the middle. An early pass to Akins was on but he delayed before finding Scott Fraser to his left. There was an opening for a first time shot but he instead chose to cut back inside and lost his footing and the chance to test Burge.
Brad Collins was forced into his first meaningful action of the night on the half hour mark as Albion's inability to clear their lines led to a chance for Jordy Hiwula, the striker firing in from distance and seeing Collins stretch himself to put the ball around the post.
When Harness forced an error from left back Brandon Mason and the defender looked for a free kick that never came Harness created another chance that fell nicely for Allen to fire into the box and Akins to poke home before referee Neil Hair ruled it out for a handball that was difficult to see by most in the ground.
Another excellent chance to double the Brewers lead came on 41 minutes. This time it was Harness in the middle and Colin Daniel whipping in a cross that the winger could not quite get over, eventually guiding a header over the top. A great chance gone begging in reality.
And Templeton was not far away with a dipping volley in first half stoppage time with Burge beaten. Scott Fraser picked up a yellow card having made a crude attempt to stop Hiwula in his tracks, referee Hair waiting for the next break in play before showing the card.
A satisfactory half from the Brewers but it could have been so much better had one of the number of chances to double the lead been taken.
Half time: Coventry City 0-1 Burton Albion
A brighter start to the second half from City eventually yielded an equaliser on 51 minutes. Patient build-up in and around the Burton box eventually saw the ball deflect into the path of BAYLISS who fired low past Collins from twelve yards on the angle.
City almost had a second from pretty much the same position a couple of minutes later as Bayliss this time picked out the run of Luke Thomas, the Derby loanee striking the base of the post with Collins beaten.
Coventry then suffered the agony of being reduced to ten men in the 55th minute as Bright Enobakhare, booked in the first half for a poor challenge was pulled up again for a challenge on Templeton to get his second yellow, followed by a red.
Albion wasted little time in capitalising on their extra man as they regained the lead on the hour mark. An absolutely awful clearance from Burge went straight to ALLEN and he took a touch before returning the ball with interest back over the stranded keeper.
Coventry waited until the last quarter of the game to make a change with striker Amadou Bakayoko sacrificed for some more midfield solidity in the shape of Jordan Shipley.
Burge went some way towards redeeminig himself on 72 minutes with a good save from Templeton's well struck shot and there was more than a hint of a push on Fraser as he tried to snaffle the rebound, firing wide in the process.
Liam Boyce was sent on after 72 minutes and after conceding a free kick in a dangerous position just outside his own box the striker led the breakaway as the home side made a mess of the set piece and his cross was eventually turned wide by Akins as he powered his way into the middle.
But Coventry were far from spent as an attacking force as Hiwula tried to acrobatically fire home with a combination of Jake Buxton and Kyle McFadzean doing enough to ensure that his effort missed the target.
And Collins was forced into another save, this time low to his left as full back Brandon Mason tried to burst through before shooting from just outside the box.
Fraser made way for the last seven minutes after another industrious shift in the middle of the park and it was Kieran Wallace who was sent on to try and shore things up in midfield as Coventry went in search of a late equaliser.
Yellow cards for Harness and Quinn followed as the closing stages started to get a little feisty in the last few minutes but Albion controlled the latter stages and gave no chances for a late rally from the home side.
It had taken a cracker to win it but victory was deserved on the night as Albion showed the greater nous to win a tight game.