Gills in front at the break, but Burton score three times in the second half to claim victory.
Robbie McKenzie’s early goal was cancelled out as Burton completed a clinical second-half comeback at MEMS Priestfield Stadium to clinch all three points in a 3-1 victory.
McKenzie scored in the third minute as he slammed a rebound from close range into the roof of the net.
However, Burton scored three times in the second half. Tom Hamer brought them back level before John Brayford headed home from inside the six-yard box. Jonny Smith put the game out of reach in the dying moments as he slammed home from a low drilled cross.
Steve Lovell made a handful of changes following the loss to Ipswich in the club’s previous game. Kyle Dempsey, Ben Reeves and Olly Lee all came into the starting XI.
Charlie Kelman and Pontus Dahlberg both started, having signed on loan with the club on Friday.
McKenzie gave Gillingham the lead in the third minute. Lee’s corner was a low one curled towards the edge of the box. Dempsey met it with a first-time strike, which forced Ben Garratt into a save. It fell nicely for McKenzie, who thumped it into the roof of the net.
Reeves came close to doubling Gillingham’s lead in the 19th minute. Gills did well to work the ball towards the visitors' penalty area, but Burton did well to close any shooting angles. Reeves received the ball on the edge of the area and did well to turn his man before shooting on his right foot. Unfortunately, it fizzed just wide of the far post.
Kelman tested Garratt with a little under ten minutes until half-time. He did brilliantly to run down the left-hand side before cutting back onto his right foot. Dempsey received the ball off of him and then played it back to the QPR loanee, who tried his luck twenty or so yards from goal. However, it was straight at Garratt.
HALF-TIME: Gillingham 1-0 Burton Albion
In the 50th minute, Tom Hamer brought Burton back on level terms. Cameron Borthwick-Jackson’s cross was a deep one towards the back stick, and Hamer rose highest. His header looped over Dahlberg and went in off the far post.
Garratt was forced into a panicky save in the 57th minute thanks to a strong effort from Lee. He received the ball 30 yards from goal and was encouraged to shoot. He did exactly that and tried his luck. His effort took a slight deflection which caused movement, as Garratt had to palm it over his crossbar.
In the 62nd minute, Vadaine Oliver had his first chance of the game. Gills applied a high press and won the ball 30 yards from goal. Reeves directed a ball towards the penalty area, and Oliver rose highest, but his header went wide of the target.
Dahlberg did fantastically to deny Burton from taking the lead. A free-kick into the box was headed towards the goal by Gassan Ahadme. Dahlberg made the initial save, but it fell perfectly for Hamer. However, the Swedish international reacted quickly to put his hands on top of the loose ball with the goal at Hamer’s mercy.
In the 79th minute, John Brayford put the visitors in front. A quick free-kick caught the Gills out, and Terry Taylor delivered a ball across the goal. Gills could not clear their lines, and Brayford headed home from close range.
Seconds after coming on, Jonny Smith secured the three points for Burton. Charlie Lakin’s low cross was bundled home from close range by Smith, leaving Dahlberg with little chance.
FULL-TIME: Gillingham 1-3 Burton Albion
Gillingham: Dahlberg, Jackson, Ehmer, Tucker, McKenzie (Tutonda 76’), O’Keefe (Lloyd 59’), Dempsey, Reeves (Carayol 80’), Lee, Kelman, Oliver
Unused Substitutes: Chapman, Bennett, Dickson-Peters, Akinde
Burton Albion: Garratt, Brayford, Borthwick-Jackson, Oshilaja, Hughes, Hamer, Taylor, O’Connor (Lakin 74’), Powell, Jebbison (Smith 86’), Ahadme
Unused Substitutes: Hawkins, Kokolo, Leak, Moult, Mancienne
Attendance: 4198 (123 Burton)
Referee: Mr Thomas Bramall