In what was far from a Boxing Day classice, both goals came from Lewis Grabban as he opened the scoring with an early penalty before ending the game as a contest with his second in the final ten minutes.
There was one change to the side that started last weekend’s victory over Birmingham City as Daniel Batty came in for Josh Bowler who dropped to the bench. Also amongst the substitutes was Robbie McKenzie who replaced Keane Lewis-Potter as illness ruled the teenager out.
Forest’s Chema Rodriguez picked up an early booking for late tackles on Jackson Irvine and Jarrod Bowen in the opening four minutes, before Irvine missed a great chance at full stretch when meeting Bowen’s free kick to the back post.
It was Forest that opened the scoring with an eleventh minute penalty after Samba Sow went down under Irvine’s challenge inside the box. Grabban stepped up and beat George Long from the spot.
Joe Lolley sent an acrobatic effort over the bar as the visitors looked for a second, while at the other end Kamil Grosicki fired wide from distance after some enterprising play from Bowen.
The Tigers were forced into a change six minutes before the break as Callum Elder limped off to be replaced by Stephen Kingsley before Grosicki brought a save out of Brice Samba with a low shot.
Forest had injury problems of their own with Sow going down on a number of occasions for treatment and that led to five minutes of time added on at the end of the first half, but the visitors held their lead going into the break.
Grant McCann made a second change at the break as Bowler replaced Batty.
Tom Eaves headed wide from a Grosicki free kick early in the second half while Long made a reactionary save to deny Tiago Silva after his low shot had passed through a number of bodies.
Jordy de Wijs was denied by a great challenge from Matty Cash as he looked to get on the end of Irvine’s cross after a Grosicki corner had been cleared and Bowen saw an effort deflect wide as the home side tried to turn up the pressure but there was no way past a stubborn Forest rearguard.
Leonardo Da Silva picked up a booking for a cynical foul inside the centre circle and Kingsley soon followed him after pulling back Sammy Ameobi before a final change brought George Honeyman into the action for Da Silva.
Bowen’s glancing header flashed wide of Samba’s right-hand post as the game entered its final ten minutes, but it was Forest that wrapped things up eight minutes from time as Grabban beat Long at his near post.
Bowen and Ben Watson picked up late yellows after an altercation by the touchline and de Wijs was also booked in added time as a frustrating afternoon came to an end.
Hull City: George Long; Eric Lichaj ©, Reece Burke, Jordy de Wijs, Callum Elder (Stephen Kingsley 39); Leonardo Da Silva Lopes (George Honeyman 78), Daniel Batty (Josh Bowler 46), Jackson Irvine; Jarrod Bowen, Kamil Grosicki, Tom Eaves.
Subs Not Used: Matt Ingram, Ryan Tafazolli, Robbie McKenzie, Matthew Pennington.
Nottingham Forest: Brice Samba, Tobias Figueiredo, Joe Worrall, Lewis Grabban, Ben Watson, Matty Cash, Alfa Semedo (Ryan Yates 69), Samba Sow (Sammy Ameobi 44), Joe Lolley (Joao Carvalho 88), Tiago Silva, Chema Rodriguez.
Subs Not Used: Jordan Smith, Carl Jenkinson, Jack Robinson, Michael Dawson.
Referee: Mr G. Eltringham.