Goals from Joe Jacobson and Adebayo Akinfenwa helped Wycombe on their way to a first home league win of the season, with Akinfenwa netting his 200th career goal in English football.
The Blues were two up at the break when Jacobson stroked home a penalty and Akinfenwa headed home Randell Williams' cross, but the Brewers improved after the break and grabbed what was ultimately a consolation when Marvin Sordell stroked Gareth Ainsworth made two changes to his side with Sido Jombati missing due to suspension while Bryn Morris dropped to the bench, as Curtis Thompson came into the team and Joe Jacobson made his 200th appearance for the Chairboys.
The early stages saw Burton enjoying more of a territorial advantage, but found the hosts’ penalty area too congested when looking to pull the trigger. Michael Harriman came to the rescue with a well-timed tackle after Scott Fraser had played in Marvin Sordell, but generally both keepers were untroubled.
Burton’s high defensive line made it hard for Wanderers to commit enough men forward to enable Adebayo Akinfenwa to force his way into the box, as the Beast pursued a 200th career goal in English football.
The Blues began to get on top before the midway stage in the half and Dominic Gape lashed a first-time effort over the bar at the end of a promising spell, before Darius Charles sent a header over from Joe Jacobson’s free-kick.
Then came the best chance of the game so far, when Randell Williams’ long throw was flicked to the back post by Akinfenwa and Craig Mackail-Smith was somehow unmarked and onside, but glanced his header agonisingly wide.
But the same pair were involved in the move which led to the Blues being awarded a penalty on 30 minutes. Curtis Thompson lofted the ball into the area and the presence of Akinfenwa and Mackail-Smith unsettled the defence, with Kyle McFadzean opting to barge the latter and give the referee no choice but to point to the spot. Joe Jacobson stepped up, on his 200th appearance for the club, and rolled it home with the keeper diving the wrong way.
And then it came, not longer after. He’s scored many tougher, more well-crafted goals in his previous 199, but the bullet header from Akinfenwa brought up the 200 milestone and had Adams Park on its feet in recognition of a once-in-a-generation footballer. Randell Williams did the hard work, skinning his marker down the left and delivering a cross which was the ‘buffet ball’ the Beast simply loves, giving the defender and keeper no chance.
The celebration was relatively understated for a man who delivered a Mayweather punch, the People’s Elbow and a squat lift last season, but a special one nonetheless as his team-mates rushed to join him.
Then it was back to work, and the need to keep the back door shut til the break at least. Dominic Gape made a timely intervention to deny Marvin Sordell’s goalbound shot after good work from Liam Boyce, but the Chairboys were full value for their 2-0 half-time lead, which prompted the Brewers into a change at the interval.
Damien McCrory entered the field at left-back as the visitors switched to a 4-3-3 formation, pushing Lucas Akins and Marvin Sordell either side of Boyce in attack. And it paid off almost immediately. Boyce’s excellent hold-up play brought others in the game and his clever pass into the box found Sordell unmarked, enabling him to touch it past Ryan Allsop and slide it home.
Burton had their tails up, moving the ball around at speed, leaving Wanderers just needing to ride the storm. The hosts were dealt a blow when Akinfenwa suffered an injury 10 minutes into the halp, prompting his exit and the arrival of Paris Cowan-Hall into the frontline.
Then they needed a couple of blocks in the area to keep out Burton efforts, and in fact Boyce found himself in the way of an Akins strike following a corner, much to the aid of the Chairboys.
Albion made a second change when Devante Cole took the place of Jake Hesketh, meaning they now had four forwards on the pitch, and it almost paid off when Damien McCrory flashed a dangerous cross through the six-yard box but Cole wasn’t able to meet it.
Then at the other end, the excellent Williams bombed forward again down the left, drilling in a cross which was flicked over the bar by Mackail-Smith as the clock hit 70.
Shortly after, Dominic Gape sustained an injury in a midfield challenge but eventually carried on, only after Allsop had made a smart stop to parry Boyce’s powerful header to safety, while Boyce then looped a header harmlessly wide a minute later.
Matt Bloomfield and Stephen Quinn were booked on 80 minutes – the Wycombe player for a foul, and the Burton man for his reaction – but it was to be Bloomfield’s final action, with Bryn Morris taking his place shortly after.
Fred Onyedinma replaced Randell Williams a minute later and Burton swapped Jamie Allen for Joe Sbarra – a fifth striker in yellow on the pitch.
Paris Cowan-Hall was booked for kicking the ball away as the game ticked into the final five minutes, with Darius Charles making a vital block from Boyce’s cross before Sordell fired over the top with a first-time effort.
Hearts were in mouths when Devante Cole got the better of Dominic Gape as they contested a bouncing ball but Charles and Jacobson raced across to cover before the striker could bear down on goal, before the fourth official stunned the home crowd by displaying seven minutes of injury time.
Jacobson collected a yellow for time-wasting and Devante Cole lashed over late on, but the points were safe, and the Blues are back to winning ways at Adams Park.
Attendance: 4,022 (221 from Burton)