Unbeaten Burton clung on for a 2-1 victory at Mansfield after having Robbie Weir sent off.
Weir had to walk three minutes from time and Albion then had to endure seven added minutes at the end of the game.
Burton had built a 2-0 lead with goals in each half from Callum McFadzean and Alex MacDonald, but Matt Rhead's 75th-minute header made for a thrilling finish in a physical game, especially after Weir went for a headbutt on Jamie McGuire.
A tight first half saw neither goalkeeper have a serious save to make. But the deadlock was broken three minutes from the break when Burton broke quickly from a loose Rob Taylor pass and MacDonald saw his 20-yard shot take a couple of deflections to leave keeper Dimitar Evtimov wrong-footed and helpless.
Mansfield, largely toothless in the first half, began to create more after the break and Taylor missed the target with two first-time efforts inside five minutes.
Rhead then powered a header just wide of the far post before beating Jon McLaughlin to a cross and planting another header onto the roof of the empty net.
But the lead was doubled when Martin Riley's fine block on MacDonald's shot inside the box saw the ball run loose and invitingly to McFadzean, who slotted into the empty net from 10 yards.
Within four minutes it was game on again as the Stags pulled one back. Rhead's head beat McLaughlan to Adam Murray's long free-kick and, from eight yards, he guided the ball into the gaping net.
MacDonald almost sealed it with a powerful 30-yard effort that dipped over Evtimov but hit the bar.
Two minutes from time Weir was red-carded for a retaliatory butt on McGuire after he felt the Mansfield man had stamped on him.
Seven minutes of stoppage time ended in a mass confrontation after Burton's players felt Riley threw a punch - but the referee gave nothing.