JOE Powell and Jamie Murphy both scored their first Burton Albion goals as the Brewers fought their way to a battling 2-2 draw against AFC Wimbledon
Not always a happy hunting ground for the Brewers, Albion led twice in the first half only to be pegged back on both occasions and both sides will see this as a good point with both having opportunites to grab all three points and in the end thankful not to lose it.
Powell showed what a sweet left foot he has as he drilled in after seven minutes before Mitch Pinnock cancelled out the lead with a well taken finish just after the quarter of an hour mark.
Murphy put Albion back in front coolly steering home a header after Conor Shaughnessy's shot had skewed wide of the target but ex-Albion midfielder Callum Reilly had the final say with a second equaliser for the Dons on the hour.
With a quick turnaround following the home draw against Accrington at the weekend it was a case of three changes for the trip to AFC Wimbledon. With Jake Buxton affected by a hip problem there was a straight swap in the back four with Richard Nartey slotting in. With Scott Fraser feeling under the weather it presented an opportunity for Conor Shaughnessy to make his full debut after two appearances from the bench since arriving on loan from Leeds United. He slotted in to a four man midfield with Ryan Edwards on the right hand side and another full debut on the left, Joe Powell getting his first start following his move from West Ham United as Oliver Sarkic dropped to the bench. Jamie Murphy partnered Lucas Akins in attack.
The Dons posed the first real threat on goal with a set piece on three minutes. Mitch Pinnock swung in a testing delivery to the edge of the Burton six yard box but with the home side piling bodies in to try and get on the end of it John Brayford made sure it was his head that connected to clear the danger.
Albion struck with their first attack of the evening. POWELL started the move in his own half to find Akins with room to turn and push forwards. The ball was played out to Murphy on the left and he pushed on to drill in a low cross and when that was only deflected as far as the young midfielder he gleefully smashed the ball home.
And Powell almost added a second with an angled drive on nine minutes that had Joe Day in the Wombles goal at full stretch as it bounced just wide of the post thanks to the keepers fingertips.
But the Dons were level on 16 minutes through a well taken goal from PINNOCK. Big striker Joe Pigott slid through a neat pass and the Wombles forward timed his run well to stay onside and nick the ball past Kieran O'Hara before producing a tidy finish from wide out on the edge of the box.
Albion were trying to play their way through the home side and it was Stephen Quinn who saw an opportunity to shoot midway through the half but he pulled his left foot shot a little too much as it went past Day's left hand post.
John Brayford was seeing plenty of the ball in the first half but his shot from distance failed to trouble Day but it was the prelude to Albion regaining the lead on 41 minutes. Brayford sent in the latest in a long line of crosses and this time the Dons defence struggled to clear it and although Shaughnessy's shot was mistimed it bounced kindly to allow MURPHY to somehow guide a looped header into the far corner.
The home side were close to another leveller just before the break when Albion's defence showed a couple of moments of hesitency in trying to clear the ball and Scott Wagstaff was unlucky to see his scuffed effort miss the post by not a great deal as he then protested that he should have had a penalty in the scramble that preceded it.
Half time: AFC Wimbledon 1-2 Burton Albion
It was a bright start to thre second half with Wimbledon quickly winning a corner that was eventually cleared by the Brewers before Powell swung in a teasing right footed cross that Day clawed away.
Half time substitute Anthony Wordsworth lashed in a free kick that was blocked inside the Burton box before Albion got going forwards again with Powell released down the right and floating in a cross that was just too high for Ryan Edwards.
But Wimbledon's bright start paid dividends on 59 minutes when they grabbed the equaliser. A scramble in the Burton box saw a shot blocked but the rebound fell for REILLY to slot home with the help of a deflection off O'Toole.
Albion made a change on 65 minutes with the manager feeling the need to summon Fraser from the bench to try and wrestle control of the midfield back with Powell making way.
The Scot lifted an early chance over after a neat exchange of passes with Akins on the edge of the box before play switched to the other end and Pigott finished a run across midfield with a snap shot that flew inches wide of O'Hara's upright.
O'Hara was the centre of attention on 74 minutes when a long ball forwards lured him out of his goal to meet Pigott and the home side raised vociferous shouts for handball outside the box although referee John Busby remained unconvinced and awarded a corner even though the final touch appeared to come off the Wimbledon man.
Murphy lasted until the 79th minute before he made way for David Templeton. Fraser almost found him with a through ball moments after the winger had come on but the ball just carried through to Day and when Templeton get a sight of goal a few minutes later he skewed his effort well wide of the target.
Jake Buxton for Quinn was the final Brewers change and the skipper helped shore up the midfield in front of the back four as both sides tried, but failed, to find a winner.