Match ends, Nottingham Forest 0, Cardiff City 1.
Cardiff City maintained their unbeaten start under Neil Harris as they secured their first away win of the season at Nottingham Forest.
City's winner came with their first chance of the match, against the run of play, as Nathaniel Mendez-Laing exchanged passes with Junior Hoilett before curling a 20-yard shot into the bottom corner beyond Forest keeper Brice Samba.
The visitors had to soak up plenty of pressure, but almost doubled their lead early in the second half when Joe Lolley cleared off the line from Gary Madine after good work down the right from Mendez-Laing.
Forest's Jack Robinson almost replicated Mendez-Laing's goal, but his curling effort was an inch wide from equalising, and Cardiff held out to record their fifth straight win at the City Ground.
While riding high in the Championship and facing opponents previously without an away win, Forest have a wretched record against the Bluebirds and have now lost nine of their past 10 meetings, including the past five at the City Ground.
The hosts started brightly, with Joao Carvalho firing their best chance over the bar when Lolley found the Portuguese midfielder in space, but they became disjointed after conceding their first goal in four matches as the visitors enjoyed a spell on top.
Despite the 4-0 midweek win at QPR, goals at home have been hard to come by for Sabri Lamouchi's side, with just nine in their past eight matches, and their lack of cutting edge, as well as the discipline of City's defence, proved key.
Forest put Cardiff under the cosh for long spells but, for all their neat build-up and possession, had just one shot on target from 31 efforts, Sammy Ameobi's shot straight at keeper Neil Etheridge, shortly before half-time.
Cardiff, who have taken seven points from nine since Harris took over from Neil Warnock, moved up to 10th, while Forest stayed fourth after their third home defeat of the season.
Nottingham Forest boss Sabri Lamouchi:
"The numbers, they are clear. But we can do no more than that. We can only try to hit the target. We did create big chances.
"Normally we are very efficient with the goals we score from the number of chances we create. This time it was the opposite.
"It is one more loss at home, unfortunately we missed a lot, because we created a lot. Then they scored with their one real shot in the first half. It was a big disappointment.
"There was good commitment from the players - they tried. In the end, I think we deserved more than the zero points we got."
Cardiff City manager Neil Harris:
"For the players I am delighted, because they have come close to winning away from home previously and the longer it goes on the more it builds up in your mind, I am sure.
"But our organisation and defending was outstanding. We blocked shots and put bodies on the line.
"When you have done that, you need moments of quality. Nathaniel provided that moment of class for us with his goal.
"I just asked the boys for discipline, for structure and to work for each other - at the moment we look like a proper unit."
- 18RobinsonSubstituted forMirat 80'minutes
- 10CarvalhoSubstituted forSemedoat 66'minutes
- 19AmeobiSubstituted forAdomahat 75'minutes
- 19Mendez-LaingSubstituted forPatersonat 80'minutes
- 33HoilettSubstituted forMorrisonat 86'minutes
- 24MadineBooked at 67minsSubstituted forWardat 67'minutes
- Robert Jones
- Shots on Target
Second Half ends, Nottingham Forest 0, Cardiff City 1.
Attempt blocked. Tiago Silva (Nottingham Forest) right footed shot from outside the box is blocked. Assisted by Joe Lolley.
Foul by Alfa Semedo (Nottingham Forest).
Lee Tomlin (Cardiff City) wins a free kick on the right wing.
Attempt blocked. Rafa Mir (Nottingham Forest) right footed shot from the centre of the box is blocked. Assisted by Matthew Cash.
Corner, Cardiff City. Conceded by Joe Worrall.
Attempt blocked. Leandro Bacuna (Cardiff City) right footed shot from the right side of the box is blocked. Assisted by Danny Ward.
Attempt saved. Matthew Cash (Nottingham Forest) right footed shot from outside the box is saved in the centre of the goal. Assisted by Tiago Silva.
Ben Watson (Nottingham Forest) wins a free kick in the attacking half.
Foul by Danny Ward (Cardiff City).
Attempt missed. Lewis Grabban (Nottingham Forest) header from the centre of the box misses to the left. Assisted by Albert Adomah with a cross.
Attempt missed. Ben Watson (Nottingham Forest) right footed shot from outside the box is high and wide to the right. Assisted by Joe Lolley.
Corner, Nottingham Forest. Conceded by Curtis Nelson.
Attempt blocked. Rafa Mir (Nottingham Forest) right footed shot from outside the box is blocked. Assisted by Joe Lolley.
Substitution, Cardiff City. Sean Morrison replaces David Junior Hoilett.
Brice Samba (Nottingham Forest) wins a free kick in the defensive half.
Foul by Aden Flint (Cardiff City).
Foul by Ben Watson (Nottingham Forest).
Lee Tomlin (Cardiff City) wins a free kick in the attacking half.