HULL CITY completed a five-goal rout of relegation-threatened Burton to send the Brewers another step closer to a return to League One.
Kamil Grosicki’s brace along with Harry Wilson’s early strike, David Meyler’s second-half penalty and a late goal from substitute Will Keane inflicted Albion’s biggest home defeat of the season.
Victory for Hull moved them 10 points clear of the bottom three and almost mathematically safe on the back of their recent upturn in form, while Albion remain well adrift of safety with just four games remaining as they face up to the probability of relegation.
Nigel Adkins’ side got off to a flyer with Liverpool loanee Wilson cutting inside and curling home a precise shot on five minutes, his fifth goal in 10 games for the Tigers.
Grosicki doubled City’s lead on 33 minutes to give his side a strong grip on the game. Skipper Michael Dawson picked out the Poland winger with a perfect cross-field ball and after a sublime first touch the volley that followed was top class as it evaded the dive of Stephen Bywater to nestle in the corner of the net.
In between the first-half goals Burton were denied a penalty when keeper Allan McGregor appeared to send Burton striker Liam Boyce tumbling inside the six-yard box as the Irishman worked an opening for himself.
Burton owed much to returning skipper Jake Buxton, who made several crucial interventions to deny Grosicki and Fraizer Campbell from inflicting further damage.
The Brewers were forced to make all three of their substitutions by the time the second half had started. Top scorer Lloyd Dyer limped off late in the first half and defenders Tom Naylor and John Brayford both failed to reappear for the second half after picking up knocks.
Burton briefly threatened to rally at the start of the second period as Boyce tested McGregor with a sharp shot on the turn.
But the points were secured for the Tigers when Wilson was brought down by substitute Ben Turner as he looked to make room for a shot, Meyler confidently sending Bywater the wrong way from the spot on 63 minutes.
The goal came just two minutes after Grosicki had gone close to his second of the game, a right-foot shot crashing against the post when the impressive Jackson Irvine’s challenge sent the ball spinning into his path.
The Pole was not to be denied on 85 minutes as his pace took him clear of the defence before rounding Bywater and sliding home.
Keane then applied a simple finish to Fikayo Tomori’s low cross deep into stoppage time for his first Tigers goal.
Burton Albion: Bywater, Akins, Naylor (Turner 46), Buxton, Brayford (Flanagan 46), Sordell, Davenport, Akpan, Dyer (Samuelsen 40), Boyce, Bent. Unused substitutes: Allen, Murphy, Campbell, Sbarra.
Hull City: McGregor, Tomori, Dawson, MacDonald, Kingsley (Aina 83), Henriksen (Stewart 67), Meyler, Wilson, Irvine, Grosicki, Campbell (Keane 75). Unused substitutes: Mazuch, Dicko, Toral, Marshall.
Referee: Peter Bankes (Merseyside).