It was fine lines again for Mansfield Town as they were sentenced to a fifth straight League defeat by a single goal from Burton sub Billy Kee 12 minutes from time at the Pirelli Stadium.
Once again the Stags had largely held their own against decent opposition and looked like gaining a point until Kee’s goal won it for the Brewers seven minutes after coming on to leave Mansfield without a League win in nine games ahead of Saturday’s visit of Morecambe.
Godfrey Poku finally made his full Mansfield Town debut 17 months after signing for the club.
He had a lively night in central midfield as Stags used a 4-4-1-1 formation in an otherwise unchanged side.
Hussey almost grabbed a fortunate third minute lead for Albion when his 40-yard free kick went through everyone and almost crept in at the far post, Marriott at full stretch to turn it away for a corner that he had to punch clear.
Stags then won a corner from which they were penalised for handball.
On 11 minutes McGurk turned Riley to get away a shot at Marriott from just outside the box.
Stags then lost Sutton to a thigh injury after a quarter of an hour, and briefly played on with 10 men before Meikle came on, Daniel dropping to left back and Beevers swapping to right back.
On 19 minutes Daniel’s attempted clearance struck an opponent and bounced perfectly into the path of Knowles, whose low shot was saved by Marriott.
Dempster then produced a superb last ditch tackle as McGurk threatened to go past him and clear.
Clements was booked for persistent fouling on 21 minutes and on the restart McGurk was narrowly wide from the free kick.
McGurk was too high from distance and then unable to get any power onto an overhead effort, while Knowles was inches over from 20 yards, as Stags weathered a good spell of home pressure.
On 36 minutes Stags had a let-off as Hussey floated a neat ball to the far post from the left where McGurk headed back across to no one when he might have had a go himself.
Mansfield finally fashioned a clear chance on 44 minutes.
Stevenson caught Sharps in possession and swapped quick passes with Clements to be threaded through on goal with only Lyness to beat only to see the keeper thwart him with an outstretched left arm.
But it would have been a goal against the run of play as a largely uneventful half ended goalless.
Lyness had to slide in to tackle the incoming Palmer as he chased down Cansdelol-Sherriff’s short backpass in the opening seconds after the break.
Then Beevers was caught out as Hussey raced away onto a diagonal pass behind him and forced Marriott to parry at his near post, Cansdelol-Sherriff heading the resulting corner wide.
Meikle had sight of goal after a tackle on Palmer saw the ball break for him only to slice it horribly wide of the near post.
Stevenson took a second knock of the night and this time hobbled off to be replaced by Rhead,
Clucas headed a long Clements free kick straight at Lyness from six yards on resumption of play.
The home side made a double change on 71 minutes as they went for broke.
Meikle’s low poke at goal then required a save as Burton tried to clear a long Beevers throw.
Palmer turned Daniel well to race into the opposition half before firing well over.
But, just when it looked like Stags might leave Burton with a decent point, sub Kee spoiled their night with a goal 12 minutes from time.
McGurk sent a cross over to the far post where Kee was allowed to easily bury a close range header that Marriott got a hand to but, from that range, was unable to stop.
Howe sent McDonald away to finish the job on 84 minutes, this time Marriott down to make a good stop.
Rhead headed over Stags’ final chance from a Clements corner a minute from time before Marriott made a superb low save to keep out Kee’s finish from a home break in the final minute.