BURTON ALBION 2
WIGAN ATHLETIC 1
BURTON Albion pulled off a Capital One Cup shock for the third season running as they dispatched Championship promotion hopefuls Wigan at the Pirelli Stadium last night.
Dominic Knowles and Stuart Beavon were the heroes as the Brewers came from behind to beat the Latics 2-1.
The win followed those over Sheffield United last season and Leicester City two years ago – and Albion were well worth it as they matched their talented, if under-strength, visitors from Lancashire.
And although they had to defend for their lives in the closing stages, Gary Rowett's men answered his call for ambition against their visitors.
They had the better openings in an excellent first half and were not content to just sit back and soak up the pressure.
When Wigan scored through Marc-Antoine Fortune it was somewhat against the run of play, but Dominic Knowles levelled in first-half injury time.
Stuart Beavon, who led the line brilliantly, then scored what proved the winner just after the break on a night to remember for the Brewers.
Some determined defending followed and the Latics could not find a way through.
Albion showed two changes after the 1-0 win at Oxford, with Shane Cansdell-Sherriff in for Callum McFadzean and Adam McGurk replacing Knowles.
George Taft shuffled over to left-back to allow Cansdell-Sherriff in alongside Ian Sharps in the centre.
Wigan changed 10 players for the game after their 2-2 draw with Reading, with only Martyn Waghorn retained as boss Uwe Rosler rang the changes.
The Latics, though, featured Honduras World Cup star Roger Espinoza.
On four minutes Albion showed some incision on the break as Beavon got Taft's long ball to McGurk, whose low shot from 22 yards was held by a scrambling Ali Al-Habsi.
Beavon then turned inside onto his left and had a shot deflected just wide from outside the area.
On nine minutes, Phil Edwards got in space down the right and stood up an excellent cross for Lucas Akins, whose header drifted just wide.
The Brewers had enjoyed the best of the opening stages.
Cansdell-Sherriff cleared Aaron Taylor-Sinclair's cross over his own bar on the quarter-hour as Wigan looked to stretch Albion.
On 22 minutes, McGurk met an Alex MacDonald corner and directed a powerful header just inches wide with Al-Habsi beaten.
Fraser Fyvie then drove just wide from the edge of the area as Taylor-Sinclair's cross was cleared by Robbie Weir. It was a let-off for Albion with the midfielder in acres of space.
On 27 minutes Wigan took the lead. Fortune was able to turn in the area onto Fyvie's deflected cross and buried a low shot across Jon McLaughlin and into the bottom corner. It was a class finish from a player who once cost Celtic almost £4 million.
The goal took some of the sting out of Albion and they then lost McGurk, who came off with a back injury after a robust aerial challenge from Leon Barnett.
But in stoppage time Albion got the goal they deserved.
Beavon seized on a poor ball from Fortune and nipped in down the left before hitting a cross which was gathered by John Mousinho at the back post. His driven cross was converted by Knowles from close range ahead of Barnett's desperate challenge.
The goal owed a lot to Beavon's industry and craft and was just reward for Burton's hard work.
It was important Albion stayed solid in the early stages of the second half and Edwards and Sharps combined on 48 minutes to cut out Fortune's low cross from the right.
Then on 52 minutes the Brewers had the lead as Akins' cross broke to Beavon off Knowles and he buried the ball at the near post from six yards.
Ivan Ramis then almost sliced an Edwards cross into his own goal on 56 minutes as Albion pressed.
Sharps dug Albion out of a hole on 65 minutes with an excellent block on Roger Espinoza as Wigan broke dangerously and Fyvie then stung McLaughlin's palms from 30 yards.
On 75 minutes Billy Kee fired a free kick from 25 yards just over after a foul by Ramis on Knowles.
Akins then stabbed a shot agonisingly wide before Fortune turned dangerously and placed a shot just wide across the face of goal.
Wigan laid siege to the Brewers' goal in the closing minutes, but Albion stood firm with some determined defending to seal another memorable win.
GOALS: Fortune 27 (Latics); Knowles 45+2, Beavon 52 (Brewers).
BREWERS (4-4-2): McLaughlin; Edwards, Sharps (capt), Cansdell-Sherriff, Taft; Akins, Weir, Mousinho, MacDonald; Beavon (Kee 58), McGurk (Knowles 39). Subs not used: Lyness (gk), Slade, McFadzean, Palmer, Harness.
LATICS (5-3-2): Al-Habsi; Tavernier, Ramis, Barnett, Rogne, Taylor-Sinclair; Fyvie, Espinoza, Maloney (capt) (Holt 61); Waghorn, Fortune. Subs not used: Nicholls (gk), Caldwell, Chow, Jennings, Poole, Flores.
BOOKINGS: Latics – Ah-Habsi 42 (deliberate handball), Waghorn 87 (foul on Knowles); Brewers – Akins 43 (foul on Fortune).
REFEREE: Pat Miller (Bedfordshire).