Nottingham Forest's unbeaten league run was brought to an end at Turf Moor this afternoon as they were beaten 3-1 by a slick Burnley.A brace from Sam Vokes followed an early opener from Scott Arfield and despite Djamal Abdoun's late effort, The Reds slumped to their first league defeat in 15 matches on a disappointing day in Lancashire.
Billy Davies made three changes to the side that drew 2-2 with Leicester City on Wednesday night. Simon Cox, Andy Reid and Radoslaw Majewski made way for Guy Moussi, Rafik Djebbour and Abdoun.
The home side made a bright start and should have been in front with just two minutes on the clock. Arfield escaped the challenges of Danny Fox and Danny Collins inside the penalty area but Karl Darlow stood firm to save with Danny Ings unable to turn home the rebound from close range as Jamaal Lascelles recovered to scoop the ball off the line.
Sean Dyche's side weren't to be denied for long though and went ahead ten minutes later. Arfield picked the ball up just inside the box and with the Forest defenders standing off, the former Huddersfield man had plenty of time to fire under the body of Darlow and into the net.
Forest were needing to use all of their experience to stay on the coattails of the home side but almost found an equaliser on 18 minutes. Jamie Paterson sprayed an excellent ball out wide to Jamie Mackie and despite a devilish delivery across the face of goal from the former QPR forward, Djebbour couldn't get a touch to turn it in.
And The Reds were left to rue that miss on 25 minutes as Vokes doubled the hosts' lead. Kieran Trippier used his pace down the right-hand side to escape the attentions of Fox and produced a marvellous cross for the Welsh striker to head home from inside the six-yard box.
Only half an hour had been played but Burnley were already threatening to run away with the contest. Dean Marney played a square ball to Vokes who hit an instinctive strike from 20 yards that Darlow had to be at his best to turn over the crossbar.
The game was becoming a one-sided affair and Forest had the offside flag to thank to spare them from going 3-0 down. Michael Duff found acres of space inside the penalty area to head home David Jones' free-kick but fortunately the assistant referee had his flag raised on the near side.
It was only to prevent the inevitable though as The Clarets trebled the trouble on 35 minutes. Forest again produced some questionable defending inside their own penalty area to leave Vokes completely unmarked. The former Bournemouth man again made no mistake by lashing the ball, via a deflection, past Darlow in front of the stunned Reds supporters in The David Fishwick Stand.
The home side could have rubbed salt in the wounds shortly before half-time as Arfield was inches away from getting on the end of Vokes' pull-back but Forest were able to reach the break without suffering further damage.
There were no changes for either side at the interval but Burnley soon picked up where they left off. Ings delivered a superb cross into the six-yard box that fell just in front of the onrushing Vokes. Fox was then retrospectively booked for an earlier foul on Arfield.
Forest would have had a few choice words from the manager ringing in their ears and they were responding well. Abdoun's corner was met inside the six-yard box by Jamaal Lascelles but Burnley keeper Tom Heaton got the slightest of touches on the ball as it crashed off the bar and away to safety.
Lascelles was causing Burnley all sorts of problems from set-pieces and the youngster was unfortunate not to see his name on the scoresheet on 64 minutes. Fox's corner was pin-point onto the defender's head but Burnley skipper Jason Shackell got back well to head off the goal-line.
Despite their attacks at one end, Forest were almost undone at the other. Vokes pulled the ball back superbly from the by-line to the awaiting Ings on the penalty spot but the usually clinical striker couldn't keep his shot down and it sailed into The Jimmy McIlroy Stand.
Burnley could have extended their lead further minutes later as Jones's corner found Duff at the back post but the centre-half was unable to find the target from six yards, instead turning his shot horribly past Darlow's right-hand post.
The home side were now reasserting themselves on the match and were creating a succession of goalscoring opportunities. Jones was again at the heart of their good play as he struck a 25-yard effort narrowly wide of the Forest goal before Ings turned on a sixpence inside the area but fired his low shot wide.
Billy Davies responded by making a double change on 75 minutes as Djebbour and Guy Moussi were replaced by Simon Cox and Jonathan Greening.
And the switch soon paid dividends as The Reds gave their supporters a glimmer of hope with ten minutes remaining. Cox was felled inside the area under a challenge from Duff and despite Abdoun seeing his initial spot-kick saved, he was able to head home the rebound with Heaton on the floor.
Forest made there final change soon after as Darius Henderson replaced Gonzalo Jara as Billy Davies sought to find a route back into the contest.
The Reds seemed to find renewed belief following Abdoun's goal and almost struck again with seven minutes to play. Paterson escaped two men inside the Burnley penalty area before sending a fizzing low effort just wide of Heaton's far post.
Despite four minutes of added time at the end of the game and an excellent chance for Danny Collins at point-blank range, Forest weren't able to find another goal to make the home side nervous as they left Turf Moor empty-handed.
Forest: Darlow, Halford, Lascelles, Collins (c), Fox, Moussi (Greening 74'), Jara (Henderson 82'), Mackie, Paterson, Abdoun, Djebbour (Cox 74')
Subs not used: De Vries, Lichaj, Harding, Derbyshire
Scorer: Abdoun 80'
Bookings: Fox 47', Greening 89'
Burnley: Heaton, Trippier, Mee, Shackell (c), Duff, Kightly (Treacy 61'), Marney, Arfield, Jones, Ings, Vokes (Barnes 76')
Subs not used: Cisak, Long, Edgar, Stanislas, Wallace
Scorers: Arfield 12', Vokes 25', 35'
Referee: Andy D'Urso