CONOR Shaughnessy's third goal of the season proved to be little more than a consolation as Albion slipped to a 2-1 defeat at high-flying Wycombe Wanderers
A frustrating opening half saw the Brewers start brightly but concede after sixteen minutes to Brandon Hanlan and crucially a second goal in first half stoppage time from Garath McCleary gave the home side the platform to see the game through despite Shaughnessy giving Albion hope early in the second half with a scrambled effort from just inside the box.
After the disappointment of Albion's exit from the FA Cup there was no time to dwell and Albion's starting line-up showed three changes for the trip to Adams Park. Former Chairboy Aaron Amadi-Holloway, scorer of a hat-trick at Adams Park less than a month ago in the Papa John's Trophy started in attack against his former club alongside Daniel Jebbison. There were also recalls for Michael Mancienne and Lucas Akins who slotted into central and wide midfield respectively as the Brewers switched to a back four with both Ryan Leak and Terry Taylor switching to the bench.
A bright start saw Albion have a half decent chance to get off the mark within the first minute, Jonny Smith hoisting a looping ball into the box from the left where Amadi-Holloway challenged inside the six yard box, the ball falling nicely for Jebbison who scuffed his volley just wide from fifteen yards.
Wycombe began to build a period of pressure and their first real threat on goal came on thirteen minutes, a long free kick pumped towards the edge of the Burton box where McCleary picked up the scraps and forced Ben Garratt into a smart save low to his right and the keeper, in conjunction with Tom Hamer managed to prevent Jordan obita from smuggling home the loose ball.
But the Brewers found themselves behind three minutes later as possession was conceded and HANLAN was able to drive infield from the touchline to find the far bottom corner of Garratt's net from just outside the box.
Garratt was finding himself increasingly busy and McCleary tested him again on 22 minutes with a snap shot from just inside the box as Wycombe continued to send as many crosses into the box as possible.
Amadi-Holloway worked room for a speculative effort that was comfortably taken by Wanderers keeper David Stockdale before Wycombe cranked up the pressure again with a series of corner, Hamer fortunate to see a deflected header loop over his own crossbar as the hosts threatened to double their lead.
But Albion were dealt a hammer blow on the stroke of half time as Wycombe's route one approach paid dividends. Stockdale's long punted clearance wasnt dealt with, Sam Vokes little flick eventually being deflected into the path of McCLEARY who this time made no mistake from ten yards.
Half time: Wycombe Wanderers 2-0 Burton Albion
Having picked up a booking late in the first half and coming perilously close to a second as the half came to a close it was perhaps no surprise that Jebbison did not reappear for the second half, Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink opting to bring Jacob Maddox back into the action after a spell on the sidelines.
The change gave Albion a little more attacking impetus and they grabbed a lifeline nine minutes into the second half in somewhat bizarre circumstances when a Hamer long throw bobbled around in the Burton box and when a Wycombe defender could only stub the ball into the path of SHAUGHNESSY who curled it past Stockdale.
Both Mancienne and Tom O'Connor had efforts from distance in the minutes after the goalas the momentum swung towards Albion for a period but Wycombe picked up the pace and Obita sliced an effort wide as the home side's direct approach threatened to pay dividends again.
Albion turned to Charlie Lakin with a quarter of an hour to go replacing Akins as Hamer switched to left wing back and Maddox dropped into the right back slot as a part of the switch around.
Inside the last ten minutes and with Albion still sensing an equaliser it was Kane Hemmings that was summonsed from the bench as Smith was withdrawn for the closing stages.
Wycombe spurned a glorious opportunity to put the game to bed in the final minute of normal time when substitute Adebayo Akinfenwa met a cross with a firm header but he made too good a connection and headed it into the ground only for it to bounce over the bar.
With six minutes of added time shown from referee Josh Smith there was still chance for Albion to grab an equaliser but Wycombe saw it through relatively untroubled to condemn Albion to an away day defeat.
ALBION: Garratt; Shaughnessy, Oshilaja, Borthwick-Jackson; Hamer, Mancienne, O'Connor, Akins (Lakin, 75); Smith (Hemmings, 82), Amadi-Holloway, Jebbison (Maddox, 46).
Substitutes: Hawkins, Powell, Taylor, Leak.
GOALS: WYCOMBE - Hanlan (16), McCleary (45+1) ; ALBION: Shaughnessy (54)
Referee: Joshua Smith
Attendance: 3,602 (102 away)