The City Ground clash certainly had the feel of a one-off tie beforehand as both Nottingham Forest and the Canaries were in desperate need of a victory to stop their respective slides down the Championship table.
And for a large part of the game it looked as though the visitors would be taking the three points home thanks to Jonny Howson's 16th minute goal.
The Reds, their lack of confidence visible in the immediate aftermath of Howson's strike, gradually clawed their way back into the match and were likened by Pearce to 'a boxer who had to take a standing eight count' as they searched for an equaliser.
Britt Assombalonga delivered that with five minutes to go and the roof was raised by Michail Antonio's injury-time winner.
"I have to take my hat off to the fans, because they have been absolutely sensational. They drove us to this victory. They drove us on," said Pearce. "Their backing was incredible."