Arsenal loanee bags winner over Brewers
Mark McGuinness' first senior goal saw Town return to winning ways at Burton.
The centre-back met Alan Judge's deflected cross with a towering header midway through the second half as Blues picked up a hard-fought three points on the road.
Paul Lambert made six changes to the team who faced Swindon at Portman Road a week prior.
Teddy Bishop and Gwion Edwards were named in the side for the first time since November while Tomas Holy and Toto Nsiala returned to the starting XI.
Flynn Downes and James Norwood also started after coming off the bench against the Robins seven days ago.
Town enjoyed much of the early possession in an opening 25 minutes where neither side forced an opening of significance, Brewers' defence dealing with a series of crosses into the box.
Luke Chambers picked up the first booking of the match midway through the half after being adjudged to have caught Michael Bostwick with a late challenge.
A well-timed tackle from Nsiala prevented Burton from getting in behind on the counter attack, directing the ball back off of the legs of Charles Vernam in the process to win a goal kick.
Town's centre-back nearly came up with the goods at the other end shortly before the break but his header from Andre Dozzell's in-swinging corner drifted wide of the bottom corner.
The best chance of the half fell the way of the hosts, Ryan Edwards' deflected cross bouncing off the top of the crossbar before Vernam's volley was blocked by a superb goal-saving challenge by Chambers at the back post.
Norwood was controversially the next name in the referee's book, Neil Hair booking the Town striker for returning to the field of play when it appeared that fourth official Gareth Mellor had given him permission to do so.
Holy was called into action shortly afterwards, blocking a Lucas Akins shot with his legs after Joe Powell had turned well in the middle of the park and played the Burton striker in behind.
John Brayford became the first home player to pick up a yellow card from the resulting corner for dissent.
It was Blues' turn to be denied by the woodwork midway through the half, substitute Aaron Drinan heading against the crossbar after Chambers' cross had been flicked on by Bishop.
A set piece broke the deadlock with 72 minutes played at the Pirelli Stadium. Dozzell and Judge worked a short free-kick before the latter's deflected cross looped high to the back post where McGuinness powerfully nodded home for his first goal in Town colours.
A free-kick on the opposite wing nearly led to a similar second, Judge's cross being met by Drinan, who saw his header saved off the line by a combination of Burton bodies.
The hosts looked to respond as good work from Akins down the right flank created room before he teed up substitute Josh Parker to curl over the bar from just inside the box.
Dozzell and Drinan picked up bookings in the middle of the park for late tackles going into the final 10 minutes but Town held on for the points.
Burton: Garratt, Brayford (C), Edwards, Powell (Clare 76), Hemmings, Akins, Carter, Vernam (Parker 76), O'Toole (Bostwick 7), Gallacher (Vassilev 86), Gilligan.
Subs: O'Hara, Varney, Hart.
Town: Holy, Chambers (C), Nsiala, McGuinness, Ward, Dozzell, Downes, Bishop (Hawkins 72), Judge, Norwood (Drinan 59), Edwards (Sears 79).
Subs: Cornell, Woolfenden, Kenlock, Lankester.