Ian Sharps scored his first goal for Burton as the Brewers beat League Two strugglers Northampton.
With the hosts dominating most of the match, Ben Tozer had the Cobblers' best chance, firing straight at Dean Lyness.
Billy Kee went close for Burton with two headers before firing wide on two occasions after the break while Jimmy Phillips, Adam McGurk and Robbie Weir also went close.
With five minutes left, Sharps headed the winner from Matty Palmer's corner.
VIEW FROM THE DRESSING ROOM
Burton boss Gary Rowett told BBC Radio Derby:
"We knew that they'd have a little bounce back for the manager and I think they really played for [caretaker] Andy [King] today, which I think bodes well for them for the future.
"It's ironic really, because I think my first game as caretaker manager was against Northampton and we actually lost that one 1-0 late on.
"To win it 1-0 is a nice way to do it and I think that's about eight or nine games we've won 1-0 now."
Burton Albion 16 Lyness 02 Edwards 14 McCrory 23 Palmer 25 Cansdell-Sherriff 06 Sharps 17 Phillips 08 Weir (Bell - 88' ) 20 McGurk 29 Kee (Howe - 77' ) 03 Hussey (MacDonald - 61' ) Substitutes 01 Siegrist 05 Diamond 07 Bell 09 Howe 11 MacDonald 18 Knowles 28 Symes Northampton Town 01 Duke 02 Amankwaah 03 Widdowson 12 Tozer 06 Collins 18 Reid (Emerton - 89' ) 17 Deegan 04 Carter Booked 39 McLeod (O'Donovan - 53' ) 11 Hackett 33 Norris Booked (Moyo - 83' ) Substitutes 07 Demontagnac 10 O'Donovan 19 Emerton 20 Moyo 21 McNamara 23 Heath 26 Harriott
Ref: James Adcock