ALBION suffered defeat on the road as Sheffield Wednesday ran out 5-2 winners in a pulsating game at Hillsborough.
The home side, looking to strengthen their grip on a play-off place raced into a two goal lead inside the first hour half with goals from Liam Palmer and Barry Bannan but Albion staged a comeback to stun their hosts, maiden goals from Adlene Guedioura with a powerful drive and Oumar Niasse with a well taken finish dragging Albion back on level terms just eight minutes into the second half.
The home side were stung into action and a late salvo of goals from Callum Paterson, Marvin Johnson and a second of the night for the mercurial Bannan gave the scoreline a comfortable look when it had been anything but for Darren Moore's side.
In search of a response after Saturday's 2-0 reversal at home to Shrewsbury boss Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink made five changes to his side. Guedioura, who impressed in his substitute appearance at the weekend was handed a first Brewers start in a new look midfield pairing with the returning Deji Oshilaja, a former Owls loanee. There was also a recall for left wing back William Kokolo as Cameron Borthwick-Jackson reverted to a role in the back three alongside Sam Hughes and John Brayford, Conor Shaughnessy dropping to the bench to make way. Up top there were recalls for Niasse and Gassan Ahadme.
The game was in just the third minute when the Owls fashioned a first chance. A deep ball across the box got to the back post and found Johnson, the midfielder bringing the ball down but not finding a way past Ben Garratt at his near post.
Albion's first sight of goal came on seven minutes courtesy of some poor goalkeeping from Irish international Bailey Peacock-Farrell. The big keeper dwelt on the ball and allowed Ahadme to dispossess him but his defence got him out of trouble closing down Niasse and ensuring his shot was blocked.
Owls Skipper Bannan was inches away from opening the scoring moments later the ball dropping to him just inside the box and his rising drive was tipped onto the crossbar by Garratt.
There was nothing the Burton keeper could do on thirteen minutes as Wednesday hit the front. Johnson supplied a cross from the left that evaded Callum Paterson diving in at the near post but found PALMER at the back post for a straight forward finish.
Ahadme almost got lucky with a deflected effort that ended up not too far wide before Niasse found himself in referee BArrott's book for a late challenge on Wednesday defender Sam Hutchinson.
BANNAN found the woodwork again on 28 minutes with an effort from the edge of the box but this time it clipped the inside of the post and bounced in to double Wednesday's lead.
The two goal lead lasted less than two minutes as Albion got themselves back into the game almost instantly. Tom Hamer's long throw was only half cleared and when it came to GUEDIOURA his powerful low drive floew through a crowded box and had enough on it to beat Peacock-Farrell, a slight deflection helping to wrong foot the keeper.
The game was paused for about four minutes towards the end of the half due to a medical incident in the crowd but when play resumed Albion had a chance on 45 minutes when Hamer nodded Kokolo's cross down and Ahadme couldnt quite get enough on the ball to divert it goalwards. And the striker had a header go over the top when Guedioura whipped in a teasing first time cross.
Wednesday could have been 3-1 in front at that point, Bannan having another chance to set his sights from the edge of the box and putting his curling shot just inches wide.
Half time: Sheffield Wednesday 2-1 Burton Albion
Both sides had chances in the early second half exchanges but it was Albion who completed the come back from two goals down eight minutes after the restart as NIASSE used his strength to collect a pass from Kokolo and roll around a couple of defenders before angling a shot across Peacock-Farrell that seemed to take an age to nestle in the back of the net.
Wednesday immediately set about trying to get their lead back and Lewis Gibson flashed an angled shot through the box and agonisingly wide just before the hour mark.
The home side got themselves on the scoresheet again midway through the half with Bannan delivering a corner right into the heart of the Burton six yard box where Paterson got a decisive header to it.
Albion quickly tried to respond and Niasse got goalside of his man to take in a Hamer cross but could not quite turn sharply enough to fire a shot in.
Substitute Saido Berahino almost added a fourth when he picked up the pieces after Massimo Luongo's shot was blocked but on the turn he could not keep his shot down.
Bannan had a key role to play in Wednesday's fourth goal on 75 minutes sweeping a pass into the path of JOHNSON and he fired home from the edge of the area.
Albion needed a quick response if they were to have any chance of making a second comeback and it was Jonny Smith that the manager turned to with a little over ten minutes remaining, Ahadme the man to make way.
Niasse and Guedioura both got through 86 minutes of action before they were replaced by Christian Saydee and Charlie Lakin. Both had only been on the pitch a minute when BANNAN added a fifth for Wednesday and his second of the night with an unerring curling effort beyond a full stretch Garratt.
ALBION: Garratt; Hughes, Brayford, Borthwick-Jackson; Hamer, Guedioura (Lakin, 86), Oshilaja, Kokolo; Powell; Niasse (Saydee, 86), Ahadme (Smith, 79).
Substitutes: Kovar, Chapman, Shaughnessy, Mancienne.
GOALS: WEDNESDAY: Palmer (13), Bannan (28, 87) Paterson (67), Johnson (75) ; ALBION - Guedioura (30), Niasse (53)
Referee: Samuel Barrott