John Sheridan felt Plymouth deserved to take some reward away from Burton after watching Matt Paterson convert a late winner.
Argyle looked capable of snatching the victory they needed to ease their relegation fears.
After a tight first period, the visitors went close through Jason Banton and Joe Bryan as they took the game to Burton with increased confidence.
But it was Paterson who had the final say when he popped the ball over the line for the only goal deep into stoppage time after defender Ian Sharps had got his head to a Damien McCrory corner.
Sheridan said: "It's a shame for the lads because I thought we definitely deserved to get something out of the game. We had a right go in the second half, we had good opportunities and to be fair I thought we were the better team.
"It's a bit of a downer if I'm honest because we had a corner and they broke from it to score from a corner of their own. That shouldn't have happened but that's how it goes sometimes when you're down near the bottom of the table.
"It would have been a massive point for us against a team going for automatic promotion with a very good home record.
"It's a crying shame it ended the way it did because, again, we had unbelievable support."