THIS Burton Albion side does not know when to give up.
Twice this season they have been 2-0 down and have come back to get a point.
The Brewers then surpassed themselves in midweek with a 2-2 draw against Premier League Fulham in the League Cup before going out on penalties.
On Saturday, it looked like they would have to settle for a point at relegation favourites Accrington Stanley.
The Lancashire side, winless and bottom of the League Two table, frustrated an Albion side, several of whom looked tired after Tuesday night’s exertions against Fulham.
But the Brewers dug deep and in the eighth minute of stoppage time Adam Reed – who had earlier denied Michael Symes a goal by tapping home his goalbound header in an offside position – popped up to finish an off-colour Adam McGurk’s cross.
It was Albion’s third late goal in a week and yet more evidence of their never-say-die attitude.
Against Bury they scored two in the last seven minutes to get a draw, against Fulham they struck with five minutes left to take the game to extra-time and Reed has now topped the lot with his late, late goal.
Add to these the late winner at Sheffield United, and the Brewers have scored five of their 13 goals this season in the last 10 minutes of games.
And on Saturday the result was a far cry from when Albion were last at the Crown Ground on April 1.
Then, goalkeeper Stuart Tomlinson’s mistake right at the death handed Stanley a 3-3 draw and the two points lost proved crucial.
Four days later, the Brewers sank 7-1 at Port Vale and the chase for automatic promotion was pretty much damaged beyond repair.
This time around, the win leaves Burton third in the table, not that a table after five games means too much.
What is more important is a second clean sheet of the season and the unbeaten run, penalties against Fulham aside, is stretched to seven games in all competitions.
Albion have 11 points as compared to six after five games last season – it has been a much better start and they have not even hit top gear yet.
It all bodes well for the challenges ahead.
Rowett made four changes to the side which started against Fulham.
Rory Delap (hip) and McGurk (knee) passed late fitness tests and came in for Phil Edwards and Jack Dyer respectively.
Symes, against his old club, made his first start of the season in the league up front alongside Rene Howe and Reed, impressive against Fulham, replaced Robbie Weir in central midfield.
The other player to drop out was Matty Palmer, who played 120 minutes on his first senior start for the Brewers.
Both sides cancelled each other out in the opening stages, with the best chance falling to Howe, whose powerful low shot from Symes’ knock-down was well saved by Marcus Bettinelli in the Stanley goal.
Kai Naismith went close for the hosts just past the half-hour, heading James Gray’s corner just wide.
McGurk powered a long-range free kick at goal with the break looming that Bettinelli could only parry. It was reminiscent of Jacques Maghoma’s piledriver that went in at the Crown Ground last season, with the strong wind making the ball dip.
Albion started the second half much the better of the two sides, with Delap beating three players before having a cross blocked.
Symes should then have given Albion the lead. He got above Tom Aldred to meet McGurk’s cross and looped a header over Bettinelli. With the ball seemingly going in, Reed tapped it in, only for the linesman’s flag to go up against the midfielder.
The Brewers then seemed to lose momentum and Accrington had their best spell of the game in the final 20 minutes.
Substitute Will Hatfield had a 20-yard shot saved by Dean Lyness before fellow replacement Connor Mahoney, unmarked, headed Peter Murphy’s cross over from six yards. He should really have scored.
On 78 minutes, Jimmy Phillips was involved in a nasty clash of heads with Mahoney that left him bloody and dizzied.
He stayed on the pitch after lengthy treatment and when the game restarted Accrington almost nicked it.
Mahoney shot from 16 yards and the ball came back off the inside of Lyness’ right post and was hacked off the line before a follow-up from Gray was blocked.
Phillips was then carried off after bravely trying to continue before Mahoney found right-back Murphy, who fired wide.
As nine minutes of added time were played, Albion got reward for their perseverance.
Lee Bell, who had a decent and steady game in central midfield, hooked a ball forward for substitute Dominic Knowles in the inside-left channel.
He played the ball out wide to the left for McGurk, whose cross to the near post was neatly flicked across Bettinelli and into the far corner by Reed, sparking massive celebrations among the 200-odd Brewers fans who made the trip to Lancashire.