New manager Dougie Freedman had spoken in the build-up to the game about the quality of the squad he had inherited, saying his priority was to try and restore confidence to a good group of players.
And, responding quickly to falling behind will have done wonders in that regard as Danny Collins levelled the scores on 44 minutes, just two minutes after Lewis Dunk had given Brighton what they thought would have been a half-time lead.
Henri Lansbury drove Forest in front on 63 minutes before the visitors showed plenty of resilience to withstand concerted pressure from the home side.
Ben Osborn made it 3-1 with 4 minutes remaining but Beram Kayal set up a frantic finish that ended with the relief of the referee's final whistle.
More to come on Forest Mad.