Forest scored twice in quick succession just after the hour mark to bring the Tigers’ recent three-game unbeaten run to an end.
Nigel Adkins made one change to the eleven that started against Birmingham City a fortnight ago as Chris Martin came in for Markus Henriksen. David Marshall captained the Tigers, with Michael Dawson skippering the visitors.
An injury to one of the match officials during the warm-up meant a slight delay to kick-off, but once the game did get underway it was Forest that started the brighter. Joao Caravalho sent a low shot wide in the second minute while Matty Cash saw an effort deflected over the bar by Jordy de Wijs.
A promising run from Jarrod Bowen almost created a first opportunity for the home side but his attempted through ball to Fraizer Campbell was blocked before the visitors went close again when Lewis Grabban fired across the face of goal.
Reece Burke sent a 25-yard volley wide with the Tigers’ first shot of the game and Campbell had a vociferous penalty appeal turned down when he went down inside the Forest box as he looked to get onto a loose ball.
Jackson Irvine picked up a yellow card for an attempted trip on a Forest man out wide with Forest going close to an opener just before the break as Cash saw a shot flash just wide of Marshall’s near post.
The Tigers made a change at half time as Kevin Stewart replaced Martin.
Kamil Grosicki brought a save out of Costel Pantilimon early in the second half with a free kick from all of 35 yards which proved to be the highlight of a quiet opening to the second period.
However, Forest took the lead just after the hour as they hit the Tigers on the counter-attack. It was led by Cash who saw a low shot well kept out by Marshall but when the ball was returned into the box and not cleared, Grabban was there to poke home from close range.
Dan Batty hobbled off to be replaced by Todd Kane in the aftermath but the home side were hit by a quick one-two as Forest doubled their lead in the 64th minute. Joe Lolley took aim and saw his effort take a deflection on its way past Marshall and into the net.
Marshall twice made fine stops to prevent Lolley adding a third but at the other end of the field the Tigers were struggling as they slipped to defeat in the pouring rain.
Hull City: David Marshall, Reece Burke, Tommy Elphick, Jordy de Wijs, Eric Lichaj, Jarrod Bowen, Daniel Batty (Todd Kane 62), Jackson Irvine (Will Keane 86), Kamil Grosicki, Fraizer Campbell, Chris Martin (Kevin Stewart 46).
Subs Not Used: George Long, Ondrej Mazuch, Robbie McKenzie, Max Sheaf.
Nottingham Forest: Costel Pantilimon, Tobias Figueiredo, Jack Colback, Lewis Grabban (Karim Ansarifard 86), Joao Carvalho, Matty Cash (Ben Osborn 82), Jack Robinson, Michael Dawson, Joe Lolley, Claudio Yacob, Tendayi Darikwa.
Subs Not Used: Luke Steele, Adlene Guedioura, Saidy Janko, Gil Dias, Michael Hefele.
Referee: Mr G. Scott.