Full-time: Derby County beaten 2-1 at home by Hull City
MICHAEL Jacobs' first goal for Derby County proved in vain as Hull City won 2-1 at Pride Park Stadium.
Jacobs cancelled out Robert Koren's opener with a fine strike on the stroke of half-time.
But defender Abdoulaye Faye headed the Tigers back in front shortly after the interval.
It was enough to give high-flying Hull a seventh away win of the season, sending them joint top of the Championship table, while ending Derby's seven-game unbeaten run at home.
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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.
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 Faye came in for the suspended Alex Bruce.
Derby started brightly and after good work from 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 Stephen Quinn controlled a crossfield pass wide on the left.
The flag stayed down, though, and Robbie 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 hooking a fine shot into the net from 20 yards.
The Rams were not level for long, though, as Hull regained the lead 50 minutes into the second half.
Brady's inswinging corner from the left was met by Faye, who powered a downward header in from close range.
Jacobs combined with Paul Coutts from a corner in the 58th minute but, this time, the winger blazed his shot over.
The former Northampton Town man tried his luck again from a free kick soon after but the keeper was equal to it.
Coutts went close in the 68th minute after cutting in from the right but his powerful left-foot effort from 20 yards was well saved by the diving Jakupovic.
Derby pressed for an equaliser and Keogh had a late header saved before John Brayford's shot was deflected wide.
DERBY COUNTY: Legzdins, Brayford, Keogh, O'Connor, Roberts (Davies, 87), Coutts, Hughes, Hendrick, Bryson, Jacobs (Robinson, 79), Sammon. Other subs: Fielding (gk), Freeman, O'Brien, Gjokaj, Tyson.
HULL CITY: Jakupovic, Chester, Hobbs, Faye, Elmohamady, Quinn, Evans, Koren (Cairney, 90), Meyler, Brady, Simpson (Proschwitz, 76). Other subs: Amos (gk), Rosenior, McLean, McShane, Ojofinjana.
REFEREE: R East (Wiltshire).
ATTENDANCE: 25,442 (1,201 away fans).
GOALS: Koren (26) 0-1; Jacobs (45+1) 1-1; Faye (50) 1-2.
BOOKINGS: Hull - Chester (60) foul on Hendrick; Meyler (70) time-wasting; Evans (90+1) foul on Robinson. Rams - none.