Cauley Woodrow secures win for Burton to pull them away from relegation zone
Cauley Woodrow fired home his third Burton goal of the season to grab a precious 1-0 victory against Nottingham Forest.
The Fulham loanee swept home a free-kick on 26 minutes after Jackson Irvine had been upended by Joe Worrall following a sweeping Burton move.
The ball went through a poorly constructed and flimsy Forest wall and left goalkeeper Jordan Smith flapping as the strike flew past him.
In truth, Albion had been the better side up to that point and could have extended their lead soon afterwards, Lasse Vigen Christensen and Jackson Irvine both seeing shots go over the bar.
Forest rarely threatened in the first 45 minutes although the lively Zach Clough was twice guilty of scuffing efforts wide of the Burton goal.
Ben Brereton was kept out at the near post by Burton goalkeeper Jon McLaughlin and Ross McCormack volleyed well wide from Ben Osborn's free-kick in first-half stoppage time.
Albion were then forced to substitute Luke Varney at half-time. The experienced striker had already replaced Marvin Sordell during the first half and failed to reappear after the break.
The introduction of Lucas Akins forced a change of shape and, with Albion sitting deeper, allowed Forest to see more of the ball.
David Vaughan exploited space to drill a 25-yard effort just wide before substitute Matty Cash was denied from the clearest chance yet for the Reds. Neat link up play with Brereton allowed the midfielder to burst into the box but only an outstanding challenge from John Brayford kept him out.
Danny Fox ventured forward from the back to smash a long range effort wide of the post as Forest began to dominate, and Burton's defensive resistance was tested once more when Osborn tricked his way into the box for a low shot that was eventually cleared by an acrobatic overhead clearance from the impressive Kyle McFadzean.
Albion had chances to catch Forest on the counter, Irvine, Lloyd Dyer and Tom Naylor spurning decent opportunities, but it was Cash who failed to make Albion pay in stoppage time, snatching at a chance and not connecting properly with Vaughan's cross.
Victory for Albion extended their unbeaten run to six Championship games at a time when sides around them are also picking up points in a bid to escape the relegation zone, and also avenged their opening day defeat at the City Ground when Forest had run out winners in a seven-goal thriller.
More significantly, the win took Nigel Clough's side above Forest in the table, with the Reds firmly dragged into the battle at the wrong end and now just two points above improving Blackburn.