BURTON ALBION: Deeney, Sedgemore, Tinson, Austin, Corbett, Chris Hall (Todd 90), Stride, Ducros, Gilroy, Shaw, Harrad (Anderson 80).
Subs Not Used: Henshaw, Taylor, Clough.
MAN UTD: Howard, Brown, Pique, Silvestre, Bardsley, O’Shea, Jones, Richardson, Solskjaer (Ronaldo 59), Saha, Rossi (Rooney 58).
Subs Not Used: Steele, Eckersley, Campbell.
For the second season running, Manchester United have been held to a goalless FA Cup third-round draw by non-league opposition.
Exeter claimed a famous result at Old Trafford, and now Burton have the chance to play at the ‘Theatre of Dreams’ after holding United at the Pirelli Stadium in front of the watching arm-chair millions.
This lucrativce trip on January 18 is probably worth more to them than actually winning the tie. Nowhere else could they pick up a bigger pay cheque for a tie.
Yet, for the second time in 12 months, Sir Alex Ferguson’s team were totally embarrassed by Conference opposition.
Jon Shaw and Darren Stride both had first-half headers booted off the line by Phil Bardsley, although Burton were grateful for Saul Deeney’s injury-time stop to deny a Richie Jones thunderbolt.
But, just as 12 months ago when Exeter drew at Old Trafford, this time it was Burton who walked off to a standing ovation, knowing their result was totally deserved.
When the stadium announcement offered ticket details for a potential Old Trafford replay 15 minutes before kick-off, even the home fans in a capacity crowd stifled a laugh.
No-one was laughing when the information was repeated during the interval though, least of all the United fans who demanded ‘Fergie sort it out’ as the teams disappeared back down the tunnel.
Had it not been for Wes Brown, United could have suffered but time and again the England star was forced to race back and made vital interceptions and blocks.
It took United 38 minutes to force their first corner but it almost brought a goal as Louis Saha met Jones’ set-piece with a low diving header which flashed just wide.
On his first senior start since May 2004, Ole Gunnar Solskjaer was named captain, but the Norwegian made little impression in the wide right berth he had been handed when Park Ji-Sung pulled out after injuring himself in the warm-up.
Solskjaer was involved in the build-up to United’s two most notable attacking though, finding Bardsley on both occasions.
The first time, Bardsley cut a cross back for Giuseppe Rossi, who meekly missed his kick. On the second, the young full-back took the responsibility himself, lashing a volley which flashed over Burton’s goal.
It was a similar effort to the one Harrad had let fly with minutes earlier, forcing Tim Howard into a decent save.
Ferguson opted not to make any changes at the interval but after another 13 disappointing minutes which brought just a single decent opportunity, which Kieran Richardson missed after he had been sent through by Mikael Silvestre, the United boss called for the calvary.
The response was almost immediate as Rooney let fly with a spectacular overhead kick, then Ronaldo set up Saha, whose header was ruled out for offside.
Saha tumbled under pressure from the excellent Darren Tinson as he tried to reach another Ronaldo pass, then Rooney forced two stops out of Deeney as Burton began to creak.
But with Tinson and Ryan Austin outstanding at the heart of the home defence, the Brewers survived. Keith Gilroy nearly won it for them at the end too with a deflected effort which forced Howard to scramble across his goal.