Marcus Olsson scored the only goal of the game for Derby County, 11 minutes from time, to settle a hard-fought, tense affair.
Despite rarely being troubled themselves, the Reds failed to create much in the way of chances but looked to have done enough to earn themselves a valuable point.
However, despite a new manager at the helm, the game went the way of many others in Forest's season, especially away from home, narrow 1-0 defeats being a theme of the campaign.
Paul Williams, speaking afterwards to the media, said: "For the majority of the game I was very pleased with how the players performed. We know we need to be scoring more goals, but in terms of closing people down and being brave with the football I can't ask for any more.
"The pressure is on me now as to how we are going to create and score goals. We will be working at that over the next two weeks and the onus is on me to try to come up with something to score goals."