|Jacob Butterfield scored twice to former league leaders Hull City as Derby County climbed to the Championship summit on Friday night.|
Butterfield fired the visitors ahead inside the first 20 minutes at the KC Stadium before doubling the lead with a superb volley after 34 minutes.
Hull came back into the game in the second half but were denied by a fine goalkeeping display from Scott Carson.
The defeat for Steve Bruce’s side leaves them in second place ahead of Brighton, who can usurp the Rams at the top if they beat Birmingham on Saturday.
After a cagey start from both sides, it was Derby who grew into the game quickest as they went close twice, first through Cyrus Christie’s mazy run and shot and then by George Thorne’s 35-yard effort.
The deadlock was broken after 17 minutes when Andreas Weimann unlocked the Hull defence with a neat one-two, before the ball fell to Jacob Butterfield who sweetly stroked the ball into the bottom corner.
Following the goal, both sides struggled to create anything else until Butterfield struck again ten minutes before half time.
Christie’s cross from the right was cleared by the Hull defence but only as far as the 25-year-old who unleashed a first-time, left-footed volley passed a helpless Allan McGregor in the Tigers goal for his third if the season.
Hull came out after the break on the front foot and almost forced an own goal from Richard Keogh as he was close to slicing into his own net.
The hosts’ best chance of the night when Abel Hernandez set up Shaun Maloney on the edge of the area, but the Scot saw his short squirm slightly wide of Scott Carson’s post when he should have scored.
Hull suddenly became the better team and Maloney should have scored again but was this time denied by the inspired Carson, who made a fine save.
However, they could have found themselves three goals down as Tom Ince picked up the ball on the half volley but his shot whistled passed the post.
The Tigers continued to push for that elusive goal, but Paul Clement’s side managed to hold out as Sam Clucas spooned over from close range at the death.
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