Half-time: Michael Jacobs opens account for Derby County against Hull City
MICHAEL Jacobs scored his first goal for Derby County on the stroke of half-time as the Rams went into the break level at 1-1 with Hull City.
Robert Koren had given the high-flying Tigers a 26th-minute lead but Jacobs levelled in style seconds before the interval.
Nigel Clough made one change to his starting line-up, with James O'Connor replacing Mark O'Brien at centre-back for the Rams' final home game of 2012.
O'Brien made his first start for more than a year in the 2-0 win at Bristol City last Saturday after recovering from a serious knee injury.
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The Republic of Ireland youth international was replaced late on due to a bout of cramp and has been struggling with illness this week.
So, Clough opted to recall O'Connor at the heart of his defence alongside Richard Keogh, with O'Brien dropping to the bench.
Hull handed a debut to goalkeeper Eldin Jakupovic after on-loan David Stockdale was recalled by parent club Fulham, while Abdoulaye Faye came in for suspended defender Alex Bruce.
Derby started brightly and after good work from Michael Jacobs, Sammon went for goal but his low shot was easy for Jakupovic.
The Tigers keeper then almost fumbled a Jacobs free kick but gathered before O'Connor could pounce.
Another dangerous Jacobs set piece was headed clear by James Chester and the pressure was building.
However, Hull rode the storm and took the lead in the 26th minute.
Home fans thought the ball had gone out of play when Robbie Brady controlled a crossfield pass wide on the left.
The flag stayed down, though, and Brady's cross into the middle found Koren, who side-footed past Adam Legzdins from 10 yards out.
Derby responded through Craig Bryson, who tested Jakupovic from distance.
Gareth Roberts and Will Hughes both fired over for the Rams, while Jack Hobbs' ambitious 40-yard cleared the bar at the other end.
As half-time approached, Jacobs' cross from the left was tipped over from under the bar by the keeper.
Coutts' corner was headed clear by only as far as Jacobs, who took a touch before lashing a fine shot into the net from 20 yards.