Burton substitute Matt Paterson grabbed a last-ditch winner to put pressure on League Two strugglers Plymouth.
Paterson nudged the ball in from close range following Damien McCrory's corner in the fourth minute of added time.
It was tough on the visitors who saw Joe Bryan force Dean Lyness into a fine save although Jake Cole was also busy in the Argyle goal.
Plymouth sit just three points above the relegation zone while Burton are third, two points above Cheltenham.
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Burton manager Gary Rowett told BBC Radio Derby:
"It was a fantastic way to win it and probably the best possible way that you can win it. I thought it was a little bit cruel on Plymouth. I thought they were very brave.
"They had one or two opportunities themselves, but we kept going. We keep trying to do the right things to the end and one of the players who hasn't been a regular comes in and gets a fantastic winner for us.
"Had we not have won that, the chances of automatic promotion would have probably slipped with it. All of a sudden, that goal with virtually the last kick of of the game keeps us right in the mix and gives a great chance of still going up automatically."
Plymouth Argyle manager John Sheridan told BBC Radio Devon:
"It's a shame for the lads because I felt we deserved something from the game. I thought we had a right go in the second half and were the better team.
"We were a bit naive. We had a corner and they ended up scoring a goal because of our corner. We might have had to be clever and settle for a point.
"It would have been a massive point. I'm pleased there's a game coming round quickly. We'll concentrate on Chesterfield now. It's cruel sometimes but if we keep playing like we're playing we'll have a good chance of getting something."