BURTON Albion went top of the league as goals from Alex MacDonald and Callum McFadzean saw them beat hosts Mansfield Town in an ill-tempered game at Field Mill today.
MacDonald's first goal in 17 months gave the Brewers a narrow half-time lead in a largely forgettable half, as Burton seemed to struggle to refind the performance levels they showed against Queen's Park Rangers in midweek.
McFadzean made it two at the end of a good team move, and although Mansfield pulled one back through Matt Rhead, and Weir saw red in a late flurry of altercations, Burton held on for a win that puts them top of the fledgling League Two table on goal difference.
Manager Gary Rowett made three changes from the side who beat QPR 1-0 in Wednesday's League Cup second round tie, with Robbie Weir, Stuart Beavon and McFadzean in for Matty Palmer, Dominic Knowles and Marcus Harness.
But it was the Stags who made the better start, with Sam Clucas looking lively down both flanks.
He had a great chance when Phil Edwards missed his interception and Clucas was away down the left, hurdling the challenges of first Ian Sharps and then Shane Cansdell-Sherriff before seeing his shot charged down.
Albion had not looked too threatening, but three minutes before the break, they took the lead.
Rowett had opted to play McFadzean on the right, and that decision paid dividends as the on-loan Sheffield United man switched play from right to left for MacDonald, who got into the area before letting fly a shot that rebounded off a Mansfield leg or two to beat Dimitar Evtimov.
And it was 2-0 when McFadzean started and finished a move that saw McGurk set up Weir, whose shot was blocked, but only as far as McFadzean, who slotted into an empty net.
Mansfield rallied, and pulled one back when Rhead headed home a simple chance after Jon McLaughlin failed to deal with a ball into the area.
There was then a flurry of spats all over the pitch, one of which saw Weir clash heads Jamie McGuire, and he was given his marching orders.
STAGS: Evtimov, Taylor, Tafazolli, Riley, Sutton, Beevers, McGuire, Murray (c), Clucas, O Palmer, Rhead; subs: Studer, F Bell, Fisher, Heslop, Marsden, Thomas, Clements.
BREWERS: McLaughlin; Edwards, Sharps (c), Cansdell-Sherriff, Taft; McFadzean, Weir, Mousinho, MacDonald; McGurk, Beavon; subs: Lyness (gk), Knowles, Harness, M Palmer, L Bell, Blyth, Slade.