After a dominant display from City, an unlucky deflection in the box allowed Burton to take all three points with Sam Winnall snatching a winner in the last ten minutes.
Gary made four changes to the line-up that lost last time out to Charlton Atheltic. With Gary Woods deputising over Jamal Blackman in goal, a first start for Demetri Mitchell, with Cheick Diabate and Harry Kite returning from the start. With Pierce Sweeney out of the side, Will Aimson took the role as captain.
It was a lively start to the game for both sides as the ball was being pinged around like hot potato. City had the first chance of the game inside the opening five minutes with Sam Nombe capitalising on a Burton defensive effort, but he was able to make up for his mistake with an excellent recovery challenge on Nombe.
City were the team seeing most of the ball in the opening 20 minutes but were unable to make any crosses into the box count. Jake Caprice, Mitchell and Stansfield were connecting very well down the left-hand side but any balls into the box were being won by Burton defenders, leaving Nombe isolated in the area.
With 23 minutes played, Kite almost opened up the scoring with an absolutely outrageous strike from about 25 yards out, but Craig McGillivray matched it with an as superb save, pawing the ball away from the top corner.
Another effort from range for City, this time it was Rekeem Harper, but his left footed strike went wide of the post.
After the half hour mark, Gary was forced into his first change of the game with Diabate going down with an injury, in his place came Sweeney. The Irishman got stuck straight in with a challenge immediately right in front of the City dugout. As soon as City’s first sub of the game came along, then came their first yellow, with Stansfield picking up his ninth of the season for delaying Burton a restart.
With the first half approaching the half time whistle, the Brewers had their first big effort on goal. A missed header form Sweeney led to Dale Taylor getting in behind the City back line but a combination of Hartridge and Aimson put the Burton player off and Woods made an excellent reflex save down to his left.
City started the second half the team on top, with the first chance of the second half falling to Caprice on the hand side. The marauding wing back found space in behind the Burton defence and forced a decent save out of McGillivray. The follow up corner ended up falling to Kite on the edge of the area and the right wing back lined up a trademark effort, but it just flew over the bar.
With the crowd chanting his name Stansfield found himself on the right-hand side after an excellent lay off from Nombe, with strike partners linking up, Stansfield attempted a drilled effort across the box, but a combination of Burton goalkeeper and defenders cleared the ball away .
In the 50th minute, Woods was on hand once again to keep City in the game, after saving an almost certain opener from Deji Oshilaja. A header down into the box found Oshilaja lurking, but Woods smothered the ball at the back post.
As the clock was approaching the hour, Mitchell, Nombe and Stansfield combined in the middle of the park, with the ball eventually ending Nombe. Baring down on goal, Nombe's angle was narrowed and smashed the ball into the side netting. This then gave Gary the chance to make his second change of the game, this time it was a chance up the top end of the pitch with Josh Key coming on to make his return from injury in place of Mitchell.
Key almost made an immediate impact, with the wing back turned number ten having an effort on goal with the first ball into the box while he was on the pitch. Caprice found space on the left-hand side and sent a lofted effort into the box, but Keys headed effort only found the hands of Macgillivray.
The wing backs for City were having all the fun out there, after providing the crosses into the box the whole game, Caprice this time had an effort himself, but a well-timed block from a Burton defender sent the ball behind for another City corner.
As the game was approaching its end, Gary made two changes with the two new boys James Scott and Kevin McDonald replacing Sam Nombe and Archie Collins.
Against the run of play, the home side took the lead. With Kirk's strike going wide, Burtons number nine Winnall took it under control and smash the ball past Woods to make it 1-0 to the hosts.
The next game for City is back at SJP against Shrewsbury Town on Tuesday 14th February. Hope to see as many of you Grecians as possible.
Burton Albion: Macgillivray, Brayford©, Oshilaja, Hughes, Taylor, Moon, Walker (Winnall), McCann (Shaughnessy), Helm (Kirk), Hamer, Ashworth
Subs not used: Amissah, Powell, Carayol, Wakelin
City: Woods, Kite, Diabate (Sweeney), Aimson ©, Hartridge, Caprice, Harper, Collins (McDonald), Mitchell (Key), Nombe (Scott), Stansfield
Subs not used: Blackman, Chauke, White,
Reference: Carl Brook