The influential pair both completed 90 minutes as Burton came from behind at home to secure an essential point in their bid for survival.

After seeing off Massimo Luongo’s QPR in midweek, Villa started quickest at Pirelli Stadium with Jonathan Kodjia opening the scoring inside five minutes.

Burton, who still have work to do to avoid relegation, rescued a much-needed draw through Lloyd Dyer’s volley on the hour.

Irvine picked up a booking early in the second half but played out the match as the hosts inched five points clear of the drop zone.

Villa look certain to finish in mid-table after Saturday’s draw ended their run of four straight victories.

Mixed fortunes for Aussies

Another Australian also steered clear of the bottom three as Bailey Wright’s Bristol City opened up a four-point cushion courtesy of a 3-1 win over Wolves.

The news wasn’t as good for fellow Socceroo Aaron Mooy as his Huddersfield Town fell to a third defeat in four matches, beaten 2-0 at lowly Nottingham Forest.

The Terriers’ promotion hopes will likely rest on the playoffs with 10 points separating them and the top two.