Scott Fraser fired Burton into the Carabao Cup second round at Vale Park as they beat Port Vale 2-1.
The midfielder’s second-half goal won it for Burton, who reached the competition’s semi-finals last season.
Burton went ahead thanks to a ninth-minute strike from Liam Boyce, before Port Vale equalised through a Mark Cullen penalty.
Boyce met Fraser’s cross and clipped the ball in at the near post past Vale goalkeeper Scott Brown.
Cullen and James Gibbons went close to levelling matters, the latter denied by a stunning stop from Burton goalkeeper Kieran O’Hara.
Tom Conlon and Cristian Montano also forced saves from the on-loan Manchester United stopper.
Fraser nearly doubled Burton’s advantage when he found himself free in the box, but could only toe-poke the ball at Brown.
League Two Vale equalised in the 53rd minute when John-Joe O’Toole handled the ball in the box and Cullen dispatched the resulting spot-kick.
But Burton restored their lead nine minutes later when Lucas Akins’ effort was parried by Brown and Fraser latched on to the rebound to fire home.
Montano again tested O’Hara, but the keeper’s subsequent save ensured Burton progressed.