Leeds United 3 Derby County 1

Hulse's hat-trick lights up the empty spaces of Elland Road

Derby County had only a late own goal by Sean Gregan to show for long spells of control that had many of the 18,353 crowd, Leeds' lowest in 16 years, calling for the final whistle long before the end.

A combination of factors - Ken Bates' ticket prices, Leeds' humdrum home form, torrential rain and live Champions' League action on TV - ensured there were more empty seats than fans. Even Hulse's ruthless finishing could not gloss over the sense of decline.

The other crucial difference was that Neil Sullivan exuded stability and agility in Leeds' goal, whereas Lee Camp was at fault for Hulse's second and virtually gift-wrapped the third. Camp's failings were all the more damaging because Derby, driven on by former Leeds midfielder Seth Johnson, had opened so well.

Morten Bisgaard sent a free-kick inches wide, while Sullivan did well to parry Paul Peschisolido's shot after Tommy Smith sent him clear. Leeds' fortunes seemed to deteriorate when Richard Cresswell went off nursing a leg injury. In the event, the introduction of Robbie Blake galvanised Leeds - and especially his £1.1m strike partner.

Hulse's benefit night began in the 32nd minute when he redirected Blake's miscued shot past Camp. It continued four minutes later as he stole in front of the Derby keeper to glance in Eddie Lewis' cross. Two minutes from the break, after Camp handled Lewis's 35-yard drive like a greasy balloon, Hulse volleyed the loose ball high into the net.

The lively Blake was close to making it 4-0 after the interval, only for Camp to make partial amends with a flying save from his free-kick. Phil Brown, the Derby manager, had seen enough and made a triple substitution which had the effect of pushing Leeds back again.

His Leeds counterpart, Kevin Blackwell, had been leavinginstructions to his coach, John Carver. The sight of Sullivan making a desperate save from Mounir Hamdaoui's header brought him pointing and shouting into the technical area.

Gregan, under pressure from Michael Johnson after Bisgaard's corner, scored his second own goal in three home matches with 17 minutes left, but Leeds held out with few alarms.

Leeds United (4-4-2): Sullivan; Kelly, Butler, Gregan, Crainey (Kilgallon, 85); Richardson, Douglas, Derry, Lewis; Hulse (Moore, 77), Cresswell (Blake, 25). Substitutes not used: Bennett (gk), Einarsson.

Derby County (4-4-2): Camp; Kenna, Davies, M Johnson, Whittingham; Bisgaard, Fadiga (Bolder, 51), S Johnson, Smith (El Hamdaoui, 51); John (Holdsworth, 51), Peschisolido. Substitutes not used: Poole (gk), Tudgay.

Referee: G Salisbury (Lancashire).

News
newsGlobal index has ranked the quality of life for OAPs - but the UK didn't even make it into the top 10
News
people

Kirstie Allsopp has waded into the female fertility debate again

News
In 2006, Pluto was reclassified as a 'dwarf planet'
scienceBut will it be reinstated?
News
people
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
News
Researchers say a diet of fatty foods could impede smell abilities
scienceMeasuring the sense may predict a person's lifespan
Sport
footballArsenal 4 Galatasaray 1: Wenger celebrates 18th anniversary in style
News
peopleStella McCartney apologises over controversial Instagram picture
News
Gillian Anderson was paid less than her male co-star David Duchovny for three years while she was in the The X-Files until she protested and was given the same salary
people

Gillian Anderson lays into gender disparity in Hollywood

Life and Style
Laid bare: the Good2Go app ensures people have a chance to make their intentions clear about having sex
techCould Good2Go end disputes about sexual consent - without being a passion-killer?
Arts and Entertainment
Richard Burr remains the baker to beat on the Great British Bake Off
tvRichard remains the baker to beat as Chetna begins to flake
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services

Day In a Page

Italian couples fake UK divorce scam on an ‘industrial scale’

Welcome to Maidenhead, the divorce capital of... Italy

A look at the the legal tourists who exploited our liberal dissolution rules
Tom and Jerry cartoons now carry a 'racial prejudice' warning on Amazon

Tom and Jerry cartoons now carry a 'racial prejudice' warning on Amazon

The vintage series has often been criticised for racial stereotyping
An app for the amorous: Could Good2Go end disputes about sexual consent - without being a passion-killer?

An app for the amorous

Could Good2Go end disputes about sexual consent - without being a passion-killer?
Llansanffraid is now Llansantffraid. Welsh town changes its name, but can you spot the difference?

Llansanffraid is now Llansantffraid

Welsh town changes its name, but can you spot the difference?
Charlotte Riley: At the peak of her powers

Charlotte Riley: At the peak of her powers

After a few early missteps with Chekhov, her acting career has taken her to Hollywood. Next up is a role in the BBC’s gangster drama ‘Peaky Blinders’
She's having a laugh: Britain's female comedians have never had it so good

She's having a laugh

Britain's female comedians have never had it so good, says stand-up Natalie Haynes
Sistine Chapel to ‘sing’ with new LED lights designed to bring Michelangelo’s masterpiece out of the shadows

Let there be light

Sistine Chapel to ‘sing’ with new LEDs designed to bring Michelangelo’s masterpiece out of the shadows
Great British Bake Off, semi-final, review: Richard remains the baker to beat

Tensions rise in Bake Off's pastry week

Richard remains the baker to beat as Chetna begins to flake
Paris Fashion Week, spring/summer 2015: Time travel fashion at Louis Vuitton in Paris

A look to the future

It's time travel fashion at Louis Vuitton in Paris
The 10 best bedspreads

The 10 best bedspreads

Before you up the tog count on your duvet, add an extra layer and a room-changing piece to your bed this autumn
Arsenal vs Galatasaray: Five things we learnt from the Emirates

Arsenal vs Galatasaray

Five things we learnt from the Gunners' Champions League victory at the Emirates
Stuart Lancaster’s long-term deal makes sense – a rarity for a decision taken by the RFU

Lancaster’s long-term deal makes sense – a rarity for a decision taken by the RFU

This deal gives England a head-start to prepare for 2019 World Cup, says Chris Hewett
Ebola outbreak: The children orphaned by the virus – then rejected by surviving relatives over fear of infection

The children orphaned by Ebola...

... then rejected by surviving relatives over fear of infection
Pride: Are censors pandering to homophobia?

Are censors pandering to homophobia?

US film censors have ruled 'Pride' unfit for under-16s, though it contains no sex or violence
The magic of roundabouts

Lords of the rings

Just who are the Roundabout Appreciation Society?