Nottingham Forest suffered their second consecutive defeat as Henri Lansbury's late penalty was not enough to rescue a point against Cardiff City at The City Ground.
Two goals in the first half from Aron Gunnarsson and Anthony Pilkington gave the visitors all three points despite a 90th-minute spot-kick by Lansbury.
Philippe Montanier was forced to make four changes from the side that lost at Blackburn Rovers in midweek. Armand Traore and Thomas Lam came in for the suspended Hildeberto Pereira and Matt Mills while Nicolao Dumitru and Pajtim Kasami replaced the injured pair David Vaughan and Mustapha Carayol.
Despite a bright start from the home side it was the Bluebirds who created the best chance early on. Joe Ralls ran on to a through ball and found himself clear with only Vladimir Stojkovic to beat. However after pressure from the retreating Perquis, the midfielder dragged his shot wide.
Minutes later Forest did create a half-chance of their own when Lansbury set up Dumitru but his first-time left-footed effort from the edge of the area failed to trouble Ben Amos in the Cardiff goal. Lansbury then tried his luck from distance after a quick free-kick but saw his effort fly past Amos's left-hand post.
However it was the visitors who struck first on 28 minutes when Gunnarsson headed home from a corner. The Icelandic international found room in the box and nodded the ball past Stojkovic after a Peter Whittingham delivery to put the visitors one-up.
After a break in play due to an injury to Cardiff striker Rickie Lambert, the visitors doubled their lead. Ralls made amends for his earlier miss when he reacted first to a save at the near post by Stojkovic from Anthony Pilkington's orginal effort.
Forest continued to create half-chances after the break, Kasami tried his luck from range and Amos could only parry but Apostolos Vellios was unable to get to the rebound.
On 58 minutes the home side were then reduced to ten men after Lam was shown a straight red card. The Finnish defender lost control of the ball in possession and presented it to substitute Craig Noone who was left through on goal. Lam was adjudged to have pulled back the Cardiff winger and was given his marching orders.
Montanier introduced Britt Assombalonga with 20 minutes left on the clock to give the ten men of Forest some much-needed firepower.
However it was the visitors who nearly added a third in the 75th minute when Pilkington ran through on goal. The midfielder managed to round Stojkovic but Forest captain Chris Cohen slid in to to turn the ball off the goal-line. Pilkington should have then slotted home the rebound but somehow dragged his effort wide of an open goal.
Forest did manage a late consolation goal in injury-time. Lansbury was barged over inside the penalty area and picked himself up to send Amos the wrong way but Cardiff held on to claim all three points on a disappointing night at The City Ground.
Forest: Stojkovic, Lichaj, Perquis, Lam, Traore (Grant 82'), Dumitru-Cardoso (Assombalonga 68'), Cohen (c), Lansbury, Kasami, Osborn, Vellios
Subs not used: J.Smith, Lica, Hobbs, Ahmedhodzic, Edser
Goal: Lansbury (p) 90'
Booking: Lansbury 76'
Red card: Lam 58'
Cardiff: Amos, Bennett, Morrison (c), Whittingham (O'Keefe 90'), Ralls, Pilkington, Bamba, Connolly, Gunnarsson, Lambert (Noone 37'), Hoilett (Richardson 55')
Subs not used: Wilson, Immers, Harris, Chamakh
Goals: Gunnarsson 28', Ralls 39'
Booking: Richardson 86'
Referee: Andy Woolmer
Attendance: 16,539 (347 away)