Dougie Freedman’s side put in a typically resolute defensive display at Burnley on Tuesday evening but were finally breached by the promotion-chasing Clarets when Sam Vokes found space in the penalty area to strike a 68th minute winner.
That result left the Reds twelve points behind the play-off places, a gap that looks too big to make up but they also have a sixteen-point cushion over the relegation zone meaning early-season fears about a struggle to stay up are long gone.
Bristol City went some way to allaying their own relegation worries with three consecutive victories before crashing 4-0 at home to Brighton on Tuesday evening, manager Lee Johnson saying afterwards that there were ‘no excuses’ for his side’s performance.
Both sides have struggled for goals throughout the campaign, Forest netting 31 in 32 matches and Bristol City 29 in 33 but the defensive solidity displayed by Freedman’s men (conceding only 28 to City’s 52) sees them eight places and the same number of points above their opponents.
The hoped-for return of Britt Assombalonga before the end of the season will provide a real boost to the club but the momentum gained by that long, unbeaten run needs to be picked up again to stop the season ending without a whimper.