Forest's lack of match fitness was evident as Sean O'Driscoll's men suffered a 2-1 defeat against Mansfield Town at the One Call Stadium.
The first chance of the game fell to Forest trialist Frank Moussa, who capitalised on a poor pass by Ross Dyer only to be denied by a superb save by Alan Marriott.
Minutes later The Stags fought back and Lee Camp was tested at his near post. This inspired the home side and on 14 minutes, Lindon Meikle - who looked lively throughout - forced Camp into another good save. The ball squirmed free and Dyer blasted over with the goal at his mercy.
Mansfield continued in the ascendancy and forced four corners in quick succession. Half-chances abounded but nobody was there to provide the final touch.
Towards the end of the half Forest began to get a grip on proceedings and Moussa, Marcus Tudgay and Guy Moussi all missed chances to send The Reds into the interval 1-0 up.
The second half saw a flurry of changes, particularly for Forest, with the likes of Adlene Guedioura and David McGoldrick taking to the field.
And it was McGoldrick who found himself one-on-one with substitute keeper Shane Redmond in the early stages, but he failed to finish.
This was to be punished minutes later when Anthony Howell volleyed past Karl Darlow from his unmarked position at the back post.
Dyer missed a golden opportunity to make it two moments later before Ismael Miller fired a warning shot at Redmond after twisting and turning in the box.
And it was the quick feet of Miller which set him up to equalise. He bought himself some space on the edge of the box before unleashing a superb strike into the top corner.
Mansfield fought back immediately. Jamie Hand's through ball was met by Nick Wright who finished emphatically to restore the hosts' lead.
Having already scored, Miller was extremely unfortunate not to come away with an assist after his excellent work teed up both McGoldrick and Bader Al Mutawa. Both wasted golden opportunities.
Despite his struggles in front of goal, McGoldrick was playing well and was at the heart of most of Forest's second half attacking endeavours.
The Reds still had to be alert at the back and young centre back Jamal Lascelles and trialist keeper Khalid Al Rashidi - on for Darlow - were both called into action as the game progressed.
A half chance for Miller with seconds to play wasn't enough - he fired wide and the final whistle shortly followed.
This was Mansfield's sixth pre-season friendly and their superior match sharpness shone through in their impressive display. Forest showed glimpses of promise, with Miller looking particularly threatening, and will benefit from what was a physical encounter played out at a high tempo.
Forest: Camp, Halford, Freeman, Collins, Reid, Greening, Tudgay, Moussa, Blackstock, Moloney, Moussi.
Forest second half: Darlow (Al Rashidi 75), Lascelles, Collins (Fenton 50), Freeman, Guedioura, Al Mutawa, Miller, McGugan, McGoldrick, Bouzid, Derbyshire. Subs: Reegan, Andrew.
Mansfield: Marriott (Redmond 45), Thompson, Jones (Mills 63), Dempster, Owens (Sutton 69), Roberts (Clements 45), Hand (Hutchinson 69), Howell (Poku 69), Dyer (Biscoe 61), Meikle (Wright 61), Green (Rhead 61).