Nottingham Forest were dragged further into trouble at the bottom of the Sky Bet Championship after a 1-0 defeat against Burton Albion at the Pirelli Stadium.
A 26th-minute free-kick from on-loan Fulham man Cauley Woodrow was enough to earn all three points for The Brewers and leave Forest just two points above the relegation zone with nine games to play.
Forest manager Gary Brazil made five changes from the midweek defeat to Brentford as Dani Pinillos, Matty Cash, Hildeberto Pereira, Jamie Ward and Britt Assombalonga were replaced by Michael Mancienne, Armand Traore, Zach Clough, Ben Brereton and Ross McCormack.
The Reds began the afternoon in a 4-2-3-1 formation with Clough, McCormack and Ben Osborn playing just in behind Brereton and it was the former who had the first chance with ten minutes played but the former Bolton man could only scuff a shot wide from the edge of the penalty area.
Brereton was causing problems for the Burton back four with his direct approach and that almost paid dividends six minutes later. The bounce of the ball from David Vaughan's ball over the top favoured Brereton, he raced into the penalty area on the left-hand side but goalkeeper Jon McLaughlin got down well to save the shot at his near post.
Nigel Clough was forced to make an early change as striker Marvin Sordell had to be replaced through injury by Luke Varney but it was the home side who broke the deadlock just after the midway point of the first half.
Australian midfielder Jackson Irvine raced through the middle of the park and was eventually brought down on the edge of the 'D' by Joe Worrall. Woodrow stepped up and struck a powerful free-kick through the wall and it had enough on it to beat Jordan Smith and put the hosts in front.
There were further goalscoring opportunities for both sides before half-time as Lasse Vigen Christensen fired over the crossbar when off-balance before McCormack's low strike from the edge of the area was held by McLaughlin.
Brereton was booked in the early stages for a shove on defender Kyle McFadzean before Brazil made his first substitution of the afternoon with Cash coming on to replace the returning Mancienne on the hour mark.
Forest were seeing the lion's share of the possession in the second half but were toiling to break down a resolute Burton rearguard. Vaughan's rasping drive narrowly missed the target before Cash was denied by a goal-saving challenge from Brewers captain John Brayford.
Pereira came on to the field with 64 minutes played in place of Eric Lichaj who looked to have picked up a knock and his long throw almost gave Brereton a chance at the near post by McLaughlin was there once again to grab the ball before the striker could get a shot away.
A long-range effort from Danny Fox was inches away from the target as The Reds continued to knock on the Burton door before Brazil made his final change with Apostolos Vellios coming on to replace Brereton.
Three minutes of stoppage time were indicated at the end of the game and in the second of those minutes, Forest carved out the chance they had been looking for. Vaughan's long ball over the top of the back four found Cash inside the six-yard box but he couldn't make a clean connection from close range and McLaughlin was able to get his hands on the ball.
That was to be the final chance of the afternoon as Forest were condemned to defeat at the Pirelli Stadium and they now face a huge East Midlands derby at The City Ground next Saturday.
Forest: Smith, Lichaj (c) (Pereira 64'), Mancienne (Cash 60'), Traore, Osborn, Fox, Clough, Vaughan, Worrall, Brereton (Vellios 78'), McCormack
Subs not used: Evitimov, Teixeira, Tshibola, Ahmedhodzic
Booking: Brereton 56'
: Burton AlbionMcLaughlin, Flanagan, Brayford (c), McFadzean, Turner, Sordell (Varney 19' (Akins 46')) Dyer, Woodrow (Naylor 80'), Christensen, Murphy, Irvine
Subs not used: Bywater, Mousinho, Palmer, Kightly
Goal: Woodrow 26'
Referee: Keith Stroud
Attendance: 6,115 (1,698 away)