BURTON Albion marked the return of fans to the Pirelli Stadium after 501 days away by winning the 2021 Bass Charity Vase in a penalty shoot-out after a goalless 90 minutes against FA Cup holders Leicester City
Despite there being no goals in open play for the fans of either side to celebrate it was still an entertaining game with Leicester playing two different elevens in each half on their first outing of pre-season whilst Albion, playing their fourth game of their preparations only made changes through the second half.
Bryn Morris was the man to score the winning penalty after Joe Powell and Frazer Blake-Tracy had calmly slotted home their spot kicks, Omari Patrick the only Burton man to see his kick saved whilst Ben Garratt made two excellent saves before Kelechi Iheanacho blazed his effort over the bar.
Many of the Burton players caught the eye as supporters got their first chance to see the players in live action but it was Tom Hamer, starting at left back and finishing the game at right back who walked off with the man of the match award, the three best chances in open play falling to last season's recruit from Oldham.
Albion kicked off in a 4-2-3-1 with Trialist A slotting in alongside Michael Mancienne with Deji Oshilaja pushed into a defensive midfield role alongside Tom O'Connor. Loan signing Jacob Maddox played in the number ten role behind Kane Hemmings with Lucas Akins and Jonny Smith providing the width although they often seemed to drop into a 4-4-2 with Maddox pushing forwards.
Leicester had the first real chance of note on seven minutes, Tawanda Masawanhise lobbing over the bar from distance with Ben Garratt off his line and Albion were just as close with O'Connor sending a curling effort narrowly wide after good hold up play on the edge of the Leicester box.
It was Foxes keeper Eldin Jakupovic who was called into the first serious save of the afternoon on the quarter of an hour mark after Hamer went on a mazy run into the area before shooting low for the bottom corner only for the keeper to push it around the post.
On the half hour a good chance fell for Maddox, a high ball falling nicely for him facing goal but his first time shot was superbly blocked by Ryan Bertrand ten yards out.
Albion looked lively in attack and but for an interception by Wesley Fofana then Jonny Smith's curling low effort through a crowded penalty area might have crept into the bottom corner of the net.
Jakupovic excelled himself again on 42 minutes when Hamer's towering back post header from a free kick was heading in until the Leicester stopper made an instinctive save at close range.
Half time: Burton Albion 0-0 Leicester City
Albion made one change at the break with Morris replacing O'Connor in midfield whilst Leicester changed their entire eleven.
And it was two Foxes regulars who almost unlocked the Brewers defence on 47 minutes, Iheanacho breaking down the left and crossing low for Jamie Vardy to flick the ball at goal but not quite convert it, Hamer clearing the danger away from goal.
Albion broke with pace on 59 minutes to threaten the Leicester goal, Hemmings showing superb hold-up skills to bring Smith into the game on the right but he was denied by an outstretched leg as he shot from an acute angle.
Just after the hour mark Blake-Tracy got his first minutes of pre-season replacing skipper John Brayford meaning a switch from left back to right back for the impressive Hamer.
The Brewers also made further changes to get Terry Taylor, Joe Powell and Patrick into the game in the second half with starting places for the game at Shrewsbury in two weeks time very much up for grabs.
After some stunning goals towards the end of last season Powell was in the mood again with an ambitious long-range effort on 76 minutes that Daniel Iversen in the Foxes goal was able to watch drop inches over the bar.
Hamer it was with another headed chance on 78 minutes that almost broke the deadlock. Powell's booming free kick had Iversen scrambling and struggling to get anywhere near the ball and the Brewers full back was just unable to find the net with a diving header.
Luke Thomas went on a jinking run into the box on 83 minutes after finally getting the better of Hamer but his cross was agonisingly too high for both Vardy and Kiernan Dewsbury-Hall.
Disappointingly for Albion Louis Moult, on as a substitute went down near the touchline after seemingly landing awkwardly giving a late opportunity for academy graduate Luke Redfern to get more minutes in the tank.
With no further chances in regulation time it was down to a penalty shoot-out with Morris finally securing victory and silverware for Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink's side.
ALBION: Garratt, Brayford (Blake-Tracy, 61), Oshilaja (Taylor, 64), Trialist, Hemmings (Patrick, 71), Akins (Moult, 77, Redfern, 86), Smith. O'Connor (Morris, 46), Maddox (Powell, 64), Hamer, Mancienne.
Substitutes not used: O'Hara, Balcombe, McLean, Latty-Fairweather.
Referee: Mr Mike Dean.
PENALTIES - ALBION - Powell (scored), Patrick (saved), Blake-Tracy (scored), Morris (scored) ; CITY - Suengchittawon (saved), Thomas (saved), Iheanacho (missed), Dewsbury-Hall (scored). Albion win 3-1 on penalties.