John Mousinho scored twice as Stevenage beat Burton to climb into the League Two play-off places.
The midfielder latched on to Craig Reid's pass and smashed in off the underside of the crossbar to give Boro the lead after four minutes.
After the break, visiting keeper Chris Day foiled Adam Bolder with his legs before tipping John McGrath's effort round the post.
Mousinho secured the win from the spot after McGrath felled Darren Murphy.
Burton manager Paul Peschisolido told BBC Radio Derby:
"It's a horrible thing to say, but it's luck.
"We shot ourselves in the foot by conceding a goal in the first five minutes, but again, goalkeeper Adam Legzdins has had nothing to do all afternoon. I thought the defenders defended superbly well, and we lose 2-0.
"We've had chances, we've had half-chances, and nothing is falling for us. Absolutely nothing."
Stevenage manager Graham Westley told BBC Three Counties Radio:
"Winning is winning, isn't it? Whether it's ugly or not it's still three points.
"Those three points are as attractive to me as any three points we win.
"It was a tremendous start, we took the game to them and it was fantastic to get the early goal."