Danny Verbeek struck in the second half to put Breda ahead, but Dave Bulthuis' late header looked to have snatched a point.
However, Rydell Poepon's effort two minutes from time secured a potentially vital three points to leave Breda a point behind the top eight ahead of the weekend's action, and they will have a game in hand over most of their rivals after the full round is played.
The start of the game was delayed as ground staff had to repair the pitch following a pre-game firework display, and the contest's first flare-up came in the opening minute as Henrico Drost clumsily felled Utrecht's Steve De Ridder on the edge of the penalty area, but referee Dennis Higler waved away the visitors' appeals.
That early moment failed to spark the first half into life as neither side carved out a clear-cut scoring opportunity, though Utrecht goalkeeper Robbin Ruiter was busier than his Breda counterpart for the most part.
Poepon thought he had given Breda the lead in the opening stages of the second half, only to be denied by the offside flag.
And the hosts' dominance was finally turned into a goal by Verbeek 58 minutes in.
A cross from the right was only cleared as far as Kees Kwakman, who kept his cool to play in Verbeek on the left and the 23-year-old did the rest, smashing into the roof of the net from 10 yards.
Bulthuis stooped to neatly flick Tommy Oar's 86th-minute free-kick home, but Poepon headed a goal of his own just two minutes later to seal the win, while consigning Utrecht to a defeat which keeps them just four points above the drop zone.
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