Jacob Butterfield double sees Derby leapfrog Hull at summit
Jacob Butterfield scored both goals as Derby took over top spot in the Sky Bet Championship with a 2-0 win over Hull at a wet and windy KC Stadium.
The home side lost at home for the first time in all competitions this season as the Rams showed their promotion credentials.
Derby made the most of the space in midfield given to them by the Tigers and rightly took the three points which saw them rise from fourth to take over top spot from Hull in the table.
Hull enjoyed some early pressure and Mo Diame was the first to threaten but his shot was deflected wide for a corner.
Tom Huddlestone fired well over from Shaun Maloney's delivery as the Tigers failed to turn their early dominance into a goal threat.
Harry Maguire got in an important block on Cyrus Christie's shot after the Derby defender had dribbled past three Hull players and into the area.
George Thorne forced a fine save out of Allan McGregor with a shot from distance which the Hull goalkeeper turned around his right-hand post.
Derby took the lead when the ball fell to Butterfield on the edge of the area and he struck a left-foot shot which went wide of McGregor after 18 minutes.
Maguire put in another good challenge on the edge of the area to rob Jeff Hendrick as Derby threatened again.
If Chris Martin had found Butterfield with a cut-back Hull could have been in even more trouble as the visitors once again cut them open.
Hull tried to rally and Huddlestone's low free-kick was deflected wide 12 minutes before half-time.
Derby scored a second their dominance deserved when Christie's cross was headed out as far as Butterfield and he volleyed from the edge of the area into the same corner of the goal as his first with 34 minutes on the clock.
Huddlestone brought a save out of Scott Carson with a shot from distance which the keeper dived to his left to save as Hull looked for a way back into the game.
Carson kept out another effort from Abel Hernandez which was curling into the top corner until the keeper got a hand to the ball to tip it over the bar.
Hernandez failed to connect with a low centre from Moses Odubajo as Hull began the second period on the front foot.
Maloney fired wide of the right-hand post as Hull built up patiently and again put Carson's goal under threat.
The same player fired over, via a Carson fingertip which went unnoticed by the officials, after Hernandez had laid the ball back to the edge of the area as Hull were again frustrated.
Even bringing on Chuba Akpom and Sone Aluko for defenders Odubajo and Curtis Davies with 15 minutes left could not change the result.
Derby comfortably held on to claim an important victory in the Championship title race against a lacklustre Hull who meekly surrendered top spot.