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Alamy Stock Photo Festy Ebosele of Derby County celebrates after scoring.
# Green shoots
Irish youngsters key as Derby boost hopes of pulling off great escape
Festy Ebosele and Jason Knight both started and produced influential displays for the Rams.

DERBY TOOK another step on the road to a great escape in the Championship when they beat Hull 3-1 at Pride Park.

Irish players Festy Ebosele and Jason Knight both started and produced influential displays for the Rams, while Eiran Cashin was on the bench.

Meanwhile, another Irish youngster, Sean McLoughlin, started at the hear of Hull’s defence.

Wales international Tom Lawrence scored and laid on another for Ebosele after Craig Forsyth gave Derby a first-half lead they never looked like relinquishing.

The defender headed past Matt Ingram on his 250th appearance for Derby who, despite still being in administration, are now only four points behind fourth-from-bottom Reading, who have played two games less.

Hull started well enough with Keane Lewis-Potter forcing Ryan Allsop into a flying save but the night went rapidly downhill for the Tigers after Forsyth put Derby ahead.

They did at least respond in the second half and pulled a goal back when Forsyth deflected in a Lewis Potter cross but it is now back-to-back defeats for Hull.

Polish midfielder Krystian Bielik made his first start for Derby in just over a year after a serious knee injury but it was Hull who began brightly and went close in the fourth minute.

Lewis-Potter found space on the edge of the area to fire in a shot which Allsop did well to turn behind.

Derby were moving the ball quickly and getting crosses into the box although Hull almost hit them on the break in the 15th minute when Marcus Forss whipped the ball in and Lewis-Potter headed wide.

But Hull were stunned four minutes later when Knight crossed from the right and Forsyth climbed above Lewie Coyle to power a header into the top right corner.

Derby threatened whenever they went forward and it was no surprise when they increased their lead in the 38th minute.

Ebosele used his strength to power his way to the byline and when Ingram could only push the ball away, Lawrence pounced to score from six yards.

It was all Derby and Max Bird was close to a third when his swerving shot from the edge of the box brought a sharp save from Ingram.

The half-time whistle came as a relief to Hull but it was short lived as Derby wrapped up another big win two minutes after the break.

Lawrence drove forward and played in Ebosele who fired in a low drive which flew past Ingram’s right hand and inside the far post.

Hull at least showed some fight and reduced the deficit in the 65th minute when Lewis-Potter went past Ebosele on the left and his cross went in off Forsyth.

But a comeback never really looked on and Derby saw the game out to keep their dream of survival alive.

Irish players were also to the fore as Rotherham beat AFC Wimbledon 1-0.

Ireland U21 international Joshua Kayode came off the bench to score the winner, with Chiedozie Ogbene providing the assist.

Meanwhile, Georgie Kelly, who recently joined the club from Bohs, was an unused sub.

Finally, in Scotland, former Shelbourne youngster Jaze Kabia scored the opener as Falkirk beat Alloa Athletic 3-0.

Jevon Mills was also on the bench for the visitors, while Conor Sammon started for the hosts.

Additional reporting by Paul Fennessy

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