Andy Hessenthaler's Gillingham scored twice in a minute early in the second-half to end the challenge of Burton at MEMS Priestfield Stadium.
Goals from first Frank Nouble and then Danny Kedwell
proved far too much for Paul Peschisolido's outfit, in addition to Kedwell's earlier effort, as the visitors simply imploded ending in red cards for both Aaron Webster and Ryan Austin.
While Kedwell and Nouble will undoubtedly take the plaudits for the goals, midfielder Danny Jackman was excellent once again in his midfield role.
Despite being happy with the result it seemed strange that some people afterwards were questioning how a side can score three goals past a side with eleven men but then fail to add more once the visitors had been reduced to nine men.
There were two injury-enforced changes to the team that thrashed Hereford last weekend, Matt Fish
came in for his Gills debut while Matt Lawrence was recalled following concussion with Barry Fuller and Joe Martin
It obviously meant a reshuffle in defence, Fish slotted in at right-back, Lawrence went into his usual central defence position while skipper Andy Frampton
moved to left-back.
Fourth-placed Burton opened brightly and put the Gills onto the back-foot almost right from kick-off. Jacques Maghoma badly miscued a great opening in the fifth minute and moments later Jimmy Phillips shanked a long range attempt well wide. Then in the ninth minute a Justin Richards free-kick was helped over the top by Ross Flitney.
The Gills first real threat came in the 17th minute. Luke Rooney's back-heeled free-kick was curled into the area by Danny Jackman before being half-cleared to Chris Whelpdale
, the winger created space then forced keeper Ross Atkins into a save low down to his left.
Then in the 20th minute Burton were left to rue their earlier misses when the Gills took the lead.
Ryan Austin was booked after arguing about a free-kick he'd conceded on the lively Frank Nouble and things were made doubly worse for the Brewers defender when Jackman curled another delightful delivery into the area and Danny Kedwell
rose around six yards out to send a downward header past the Albion keeper.
Rooney was the next to test Atkins when in the 33rd minute his angled run ended with a low shot at the keeper.
Burton levelled the scores five minutes from the break. A neat interchange of passing led to a strike from former Port Vale forward Richards being deflected into the path of Billy Kee who headed home from close range.
The Gills almost re-took the lead in the 45th minute but Nouble's goalbound effort was blocked on the line by Andy Corbett.
In the three minutes of time added on at the end of the half the visitors lost Tony James through injury, Darren Moore came on, then Aaron Webster picked up a booking for a challenge on Fish.
The Gills had another great chance within the first minute of the second-half, Nouble's 'shot' found it's way to Whelpdale who saw his thumping effort from twelve yards touched over by Atkins.
They did increase the score in the 49th minute. Jackman's free-kick was headed against the bar by Richards and when the ball dropped Whelpdale laid it off for birthday boy Nouble to prod home, his second goal in two games, from close range.
A minute later it was three-one following a neat move, a great pass from Fish put Jackman clear down the right and his low cross was turned in at the far post by an ecstatic Kedwell.
Things got worse for Paul Peschisolido's side in the 56th minute when Webster brought down the marauding Kedwell and picked up his second yellow of the afternoon, which was of course followed by a red from referee Gary Sutton.
From the resultant free-kick Jackman's curling effort forced the keeper to touch the ball over and it was the midfielder who struck a long-range left-footed effort straight at the visiting keeper in the 68th minute.
The Gills first change came in the 70th minute when Lewis Montrose replaced Rooney, the young midfielder receiving a decent ovation from three sides of MEMS Priestfield.
On 79 minutes Austin was adjudged to have fouled Charlie Lee
as he looked to break forward and I'm not sure whether it was for the foul or the verbal volley he seemed to aim at a linesman but he picked up his second yellow (and first red) from Mr Sutton.
Nouble was withdrawn ten minutes from time with Stefan Payne being given another run-out alongside Kedwell minutes before ex-Gill Chris Palmer replaced Maghoma for the Brewers and received a warm reception.
Despite plenty of huffing and puffing the Gills couldn't break through again, Payne was off target with a curling attempt with the outside of his right-foot, he then stabbed another effort over while a decent cross from Fish was knocked behind by Danny Blanchett.
Captain Frampton became the only Gills booking of the afternoon on 90 minutes for a foul on Palmer.
Then two minutes into the four added on Dennis Oli replaced Kedwell who received a standing ovation from the Gillingham fans.
The result saw Andy Hessenthaler's team go above opponents Burton in the League Two table, the Gills rise up to sixth while Albion drop to ninth.
Attendance: 4,946 (79 Burton fans)
Gillingham: Flitney, Fish, Richards, Lawrence, Frampton, Whelpdale, Lee, Jackman, Rooney (Montrose 70), Kedwell (Oli 90+2), Nouble (S Payne 80)
Unused subs: Gazzaniga, Weston.
Burton Albion: Atkins, Corbett, Webster, James (Moore 45+3), Austin, Phillips (Blanchett 57),Maghoma (Palmer 84), McGrath, Bolder, Richards, Kee
Unused subs: Poole, Yussuf. Officials:
Referee: Gary Sutton
Assistants: Nicholas Kinseley & Michael Webb
Fourth Official: Ian Cooper