Daryl Murphy struck with four minutes to play to earn Nottingham Forest a 1-0 win over Sunderland at the Stadium of Light.
A tight encounter on a wet evening in the North East turned into a joyous night for The Reds as the Republic of Ireland international found the back of the net to seal Forest's second away win of the season.
Mark Warburton made five changes from the weekend's defeat at Sheffield Wednesday as he sought to bring some fresh legs into the side.
Matt Mills came back into the starting 11 as captain with Armand Traore being preferred ahead of Danny Fox. Andreas Bouchalakis, who came on as a sub at Hillsborough, started in place of Zach Clough with Kieran Dowell and Murphy also getting the nod.
The home side were first to try their luck early on through Lewis Grabban. The striker unleashed an ambitious effort from well outside the area after cutting inside but failed to keep his shot down.
Minutes later former Forest loanee Jonny Williams broke down the left and squared the ball to Callum McManaman whose shot was blocked by skipper Mills as he threw himself in the way.
Despite enjoying the majority of the possession, Forest failed to create any real goalscoring opportunities. Dowell and Bouchalakis both tried their luck from range but the pair's efforts sailed over the bar just before the break.
If the visitors ended the first half on top, it was the home side who were definitely the more threatening after the break. McManaman wriggled past Joe Worrall early on only but scuffed his close-range effort straight at Jordan Smith.
Sunderland were dangerous with every attack and Bryan Oviedo was next to try his luck just before the hour mark. The full-back made a strong run from defence and unleashed a powerful left-footed drive from the edge of the area but the ball crashed into the side netting.
The visitors were on the back foot and manager Warburton felt the need to make changes. First Barrie McKay replaced Bouchalakis followed by Clough for Dowell as The Reds went in search of the winner.
The high tempo from the beginning of the half soon dropped and both sides were struggling to take a foothold in the match. Williams was again causing problems for the Forest back line and he very nearly put the home side ahead with just under 10 minutes to play.
The ball fell to Williams from distance and the Welshman connected sweetly with a rasping left-footed drive only to see the ball go inches wide of Smith's right-hand post.
Just as the match looked to be heading for a goalless draw, the visitors found a breakthrough and went in front.
After a misplaced pass at the back, McKay drifted inside the home side penalty area and played in Murphy. The number nine's first touch allowed him to fashion a shot from the angle and squeeze the ball underneath Robbin Ruiter to put Forest in front with four minutes left.
After a nervy final few moments, Forest were able to hang on and pick up three points courtesy of Murphy's late strike and give themselves a much-needed boost ahead of Saturday's visit of Wolves to The City Ground.
Forest: Smith, Darikwa, Worrall, Mills (c), Traore, Bridcutt, Bouchalakis (McKay 63'), Brereton (Cummings 79'), Dowell (Clough 69'), Osborn, Murphy
Subs not used: Henderson, Lichaj, Fox, Carayol
Goal: Murphy 86'
Booking: Cummings 90'
Sunderland: Ruiter, Oviedo, Cattermole (c) (Jones 90'), Williams, Grabban (Vaughan 37'), McManaman (Gooch 71'), Ndong, Browning, Matthews, Honeyman, Wilson
Subs not used: Steele, Rodwell, Love, Gibson
Bookings: Cattermole 48'