Tigers Down Rams
Attendance: 19, 714
Goals from Daniel Ayala and Robert Koren gave Hull City a 2-0 victory over Derby County at the KC Stadium in a game that saw The Rams drop into the bottom three in the Championship table. An even first half saw both sides playing some neat football without looking like threatening the scoring but a ball into the area picked out Ayala on the stroke of halftime and his effort had enough on it to beat Stephen Bywater. Derby made changes in the second half with the introduction of Kris Commons and Ben Pringle as they looked to change the match and after a spell of possession Commons could have done better when he directed a right foot effort wide of the mark from the penalty spot. Hull looked to hit The Rams on the break and after a sharp save to deny Jay Simpson they secured all three points when Robert Koren turned and finished from the rebound leaving Nigel Clough`s men staring at a second defeat this week.
Nigel Clough made two changes to the side that lost to Sheffield United at the weekend with Shefki Kuqi and Alberto Bueno making their first starts in place of Gareth Roberts and Kris Commons with Dean Moxey moving to left back. Bueno started brightly prompting an early spell of possession for The Rams but they were unable to test the Hull backline with the first effort of the match coming from Tom Cairney but his long range effort flew harmlessly over the top.
Shaun Barker had the first effort of the match for Derby when he got his head to a Tomasz Cywka corner but he couldn`t direct his effort on target. Both sides were attempting to play some neat football but chances were at a premium and Jimmy Bullard picked out Daniel Ayala from a corner but the defender managed to head over from a few yards out just after the half hour mark.
Shefki Kuqi dragged a shot wide of the mark after a storming run forwards from John Brayford found him in space in the area and Stephen Bywater had to be on his toes to deny Jay Simpson after the Hull man robbed Brayford of the ball and advanced on goal. Just as the game looked to have reached halftime without a goal a Cairney ball into the area picked out Ayala who deflected the ball beyond Bywater from close range to give Hull the lead going into the break.
Derby started the second half brightly but were not troubling Matt Duke in the home goal and Nigel Clough made the first change of the evening bringing on Kris Commons in place of Tomasz Cywka ten minutes in. He almost made an immediate impact with a mazy run into the Hull area but Paul McShane did well to stick with him and managed to block his effort as he was set to shoot. Commons was then on the end of another neat move but his right-footed effort from the edge of the area fizzed over the top without troubling Duke.
The Rams continued to enjoy a spell of possession without carving out any chances and Ben Pringle came on for Bueno with twenty minutes to go after a debut in which the Spanish youngster showed his technical ability with some neat touches. Pringle and Commons combined well with fifteen minutes to go when the former`s ball into the area picked out Commons but his right footed effort from near the penalty spot was wide of the post when it looked to be the equaliser. Kuqi then sliced wide at the far post from another cross from Commons as Derby looked to get back into the match.
As The Rams pushed more men forward they were nearly caught on the break with Jay Simpson`s pace causing problems but Bywater was on guard to again deny the former Arsenal youngster. The home side secured the points with eight minutes to go after Bywater again denied Simpson with an initial save but the ball came out to Robert Koren twelve yards out and he turned and finished to double their lead. Commons had an effort beaten away by Duke with five minutes to go but his side couldn`t create any further chances as they fell to a second defeat in four days leaving them perilously close to the foot of the early Championship table.
Hull City: Duke, Dawson, McShane, Fagan, Bostock (Garcia 68), Cairney, Koren, Simpson (Cullen 90), Gerrard, Ayala, Bullard
Subs: Oxley, Ashbee, Kilbane, Atkinson, Solano
Derby County: Bywater, Brayford, Barker, Leacock, Moxey (Doyle 82), Bailey, Savage, Cywka (Commons 55), Green, Bueno (Pringle 70), Kuqi
Subs: Deeney, O'Brien, Ball, Martin