Leeds United sank back down the Sky Bet Championship after suffering a fourth successive away defeat to bogey side Derby County.
A 3-1 loss was their tenth on the trot against the Rams and saw United drop down to 14th place.
Leeds boss Brian McDermott named an unchanged side for the trip to Pride Park after the midweek win over Bournemouth, but it was his opposite number celebrating at the end with Steve McClaren successful in his first game in charge following Nigel Clough’s sacking.
Derby had the first chance with Will Hughes’ chip going over. Rudy Austin looked to reply only to shoot over.
Noel Hunt, surprisingly chosen to start again despite his poor form, got a header in from Ross McCormack’s corner, but could not find the target.
The game suddenly turned Derby’s way, however, with two goals in two minutes.
The first came when Chris Martin combined with Jamie Ward to go clear and gave Paddy Kenny no chance.
And from their next attack they struck again as Johnny Russell beat Kenny with a fine shot after Martin’s backheel put him in space.
Midfielders Alex Mowatt, Michael Tonge and McCormack got efforts in as Leeds responded and they were denied after a big shout for a penalty for handball by Zak Whitbread.
But they did pull a goal back on the stroke of half-time when Jason Pearce bagged his first goal for the club after Lee Peltier’s cross was headed across the area by Paul Green.
Martin came close to re-establishing Derby’s two-goal lead when his close-range attempt hit a team-mate early in the second half and Russell was not far away from his second while the best United chance came when Austin’s effort was blocked.
McDermott made changes with Matt Smith and Dominic Poleon thrown on up front in place of Hunt and Green and they improved, but could not create a clear chance.
It was Derby who scored again to seal victory on 78 minutes when young midfielder Hughes showed some good skill to work an opening and beat Kenny with an unstoppable shot.
There was little response this time from Leeds and no end in sight to their Derby hoodoo.
Derby County 3
(Martin 20, Russell 22, Hughes 78)
Leeds United 1
Saturday, October 5, 2013
Sky Bet Championship
Derby: Grant, Smith, Keogh, Whitbread, Forsyth, Bryson (Buxton 89), Hughes, Eustace, Russell, Ward (Bennett 68), Martin (Sammon 79).
Leeds: Kenny, Peltier, Lees, Pearce, Warnock, Austin, Green (Poleon 62), Mowatt, Tonge (Diouf 76), McCormack, Hunt (Smith 62).
Referee: G Eltringham.