A first half brace from Aaron McLean was enough to see the Tigers through to the last 32 of the Under 21 Premier League Cup with a 2-1 win against Derby County at Belper Town’s Christchurch Meadow ground on Wednesday night.
With the competition rules permitting teams to field three outfield players and a goalkeeper over the age of 21 McLean was joined in Stephen Clemence’s line up by Eldin Jakupovic, Paul McShane and Gedo. They were the only four changes to the side that won 2-0 at Preston North End in the previous round of the competition.
Derby were almost ahead in the opening minute but Callum Ball fired wide from the edge of the area and when the same player got his next shot on target it was comfortably held by Jakupovic.
City took the lead with their first real chance of the game in the 13th minute. Max Clark and Matthew Fletcher combined on the left and when the full back whipped in a great cross McLean met it at the near post to thump a header past Rams keeper Mats Morch.
All of Derby’s early chances fell to Ball and when a free kick fell to him on the edge of the box he fired wide.
Jakupovic then came to City’s rescue when they needlessly conceded possession in their own half, pushing Michael Jacobs’ right foot shot over the bar.
McShane headed wide as he met Matty Dixon’s corner at the far post whilst at the other end Kwaame Thomas flashed a header past the near post from a Jacobs’ corner.
The Tigers doubled their lead in the 35th minute when Dixon’s corner picked out McLean to power a header past Morch.
Gedo then fired wide from James Armstrong’s pass before the Rams replied with Jacobs sending a free kick high over the bar and Kieran Freeman forcing Jakupovic into a fine save to tip away his volley.
Half Time: Derby County 0 Hull City 2
The Rams went close to reducing the deficit 10 minutes after the break when Kaliffa Cisse headed against the bar from Niall Dawkins’ cross before Freeman and Cisse were both off target with efforts from outside the box.
Thomas’ left foot shot on the turn was well held by Jakupovic low to his left as City kept the Rams at bay until the 85th minute. Jakupovic did well to block from Thomas but the rebound fell to Ball who rifled his shot into the bottom corner.
Little was seen of the Tigers as an attacking force in the second period, their best chance coming in the closing minutes from a good run down the left from substitute Calaum Jahraldo-Martin but he shot across the face of goal with no one on hand for a simple tap in.
However, the Tigers had already done enough to earn a trip to Blackburn Rovers in the next round of the competition.
Derby County: Mats Morch, Kieran Freeman, Mike Hoganson, Kaliffa Cisse, Josh Lelan, Ferrand Rawson, Callum Ball, Niall Dawkins (Luke Hendrie 80), Kwaame Thomas, Andy Dales, Michael Jacobs.
Subs Not Used: Jakob Spirak, Kurt Revan, Adam Wixted, Offrande Zanzala.
Hull City: Eldin Jakupovic, Sam Topliss, Max Clark, Dougie Wilson, Will Aimson, Paul McShane, Matty Dixon, James Armstrong, Gedo (Jack Barlow 70), Aaron McLean (Calaum Jahraldo-Martin 62), Matthew Fletcher (Danny Chambers 83).
Subs Not Used: Rory Watson, Ben Clappison.