A Kieran Dowell goal was in vain as Nottingham Forest suffered a 2-1 defeat against Bristol City at Ashton Gate this afternoon.
The midfielder hit a stunning goal just after half-time to give The Reds a lifeline but two first-half goals by Marlon Pack and Joe Bryan proved decisive.
Nottingham Forest made two changes as Mustapha Carayol was given a starting place in place of Barrie McKay, while Andreas Bouchalakis replaced Ben Osborn.
There was very little clear chances for either side in the opening 20 minutes of the match. Daryl Murphy tested Frank Fielding in the ninth minute with a left-footed shot across goal but the City keeper was equal to the challenge.
The hosts responded with a couple of chances of their own through Pack and Bobby Reid.
Reid arrived late onto a cross by Bryan from the left but was unable to manufacture any real attempt on goal and test Jordan Smith.
On 37 minutes Pack and Bristol City did manage to find the target and take the lead. The midfielder found space on the edge of the visitors' penalty box and fired a shot low and hard past Smith into the bottom left-hand corner.
The home side were high on confidence and looking threatening with every attack and they nearly doubled their lead through Jamie Paterson and Pack, but Smith produced an outstanding double save to deny the former Forest man and then somehow claw out Pack's header from the follow-up.
There was, however, nothing Smith could do to prevent Forest going two down in injury time of the first half. Bryan tried his luck from range and saw his left-footed effort take a wicked deflection past Smith and into the visitors net.
Forest came out for the second half in need of a lift and they got one through Dowell almost straight from the restart.
The Everton loanee struck a superb left-footed shot from range over Fielding and into the top corner to give the visitors hope and reduce the deficit to one.
Forest were enjoying their best spell of the match, dominating possession and cutting the hosts open on the attack.
Tyler Walker had a good opportunity with quarter of an hour remaining. Liam Bridcutt delivered a cross low at the near post from the right but Walker was unable to make any real connection as the ball deflected wide from the corner.
From the resulting corner Ben Osborn unleashed a fierce left-footed shot from the edge of the area, but the ball skimmed the crossbar and went over.
Despite all their endeavour, the visitors were unable to find a second breakthrough in the closing stages and it was the hosts who claimed all three points at Ashton Gate.
Forest: Smith; Mancienne (c), Worrall, Mills (Osborn 45'), Lichaj; Bridcutt, Bouchalakis (Clough 63'); Walker, Dowell, Carayol (Brereton 77'); Murphy
Unused subs: Evtimov, McKay, Cash, Ward
Goal: Dowell 47'
Bookings: Bridcutt 63', Worrall 86'
Bristol City: Fielding; Wright (c), Flint, Baker, Magnusson; Brownhill, Smith, Pack, Bryan; Paterson (Taylor 77'); Reid (Woodrow 90')
Unused subs: Steele, Vyner, Leko, Eliasson, Djuric
Goals: Pack 36', Bryan 45'
Bookings: Brownhill 25', Woodrow 90'
Referee: James Linington
Attendance: 20,128 (1,267 away)