Leicester's first league win at the City Ground since 1972 was enough to see them sneak into the npower Championship play-offs in the most dramatic fashion.
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Anthony Knockaert's injury-time goal sent the 2,025 travelling Foxes - and the visiting bench - berserk in celebration as they edged Bolton out of the top six, with the Trotters drawing 2-2 at home to Blackpool.
Simon Cox gave Nottingham Forest an early lead but goals from Matty James and Andy King sent Leicester into half-time ahead.
Elliott Ward levelled things up against at the start of the second half before Knockaert settled matters late on.
Forest flew out of the blocks. Andy Reid went close after two minutes with a curling free-kick which brushed the top of the net on its way over.
It was from Reid's left-wing cross that the Reds took the lead shortly afterwards.
Henri Lansbury knocked the ball down and Cox reacted quickest to score from six yards out.
Leicester responded well and Knockaert was beginning to look menacing.
The French winger curled a couple of efforts narrowly wide after cutting inside from the right on to his left foot.
Forest goalkeeper Karl Darlow then had to push a fierce 25-yard strike from David Nugent over the crossbar.
The goal Nigel Pearson's side had been threatening came midway through the first half.
Forest fell asleep at a corner, allowing Lloyd Dyer and James to work a short routine and the latter beat Darlow at the near post with a shot from just outside the area.
Leicester were in the ascendancy and continued to create chances.
Nugent curled a shot just past the top corner after creating space for himself in the box before Darlow made good saves to keep out Andy King's deflected effort and a Dyer strike.
The Foxes eventually made the breakthrough three minutes before half-time after more brilliance from Knockaert.
After beating his man down the left, the Frenchman stood the ball up at the far post and King headed into the roof of the net from two yards out.
Forest might have gone into the break level had it not been for Kasper Schmeichel's save from Lansbury's point-blank header and a goalline clearance from Jeff Schlupp.
Forest began the second half as they started the match - with a goal.
Reid curled a free-kick to the far post where Ward headed home from inside the six-yard box.
But, as it had in the first half, the pendulum looked to be swinging back in Leicester's favour.
Nugent and Chris Wood scuffed chance inside the box before an almighty goalmouth scramble needed Lansbury to clear off the line after Darlow had made a brave block.
Back at the other end, a swift Forest counter attack midway through the second half culminated in Darius Henderson glancing a header just wide from Radoslaw Majewski's cross.
With the scores filtering through from the Reebok Stadium and Selhurst Park, the importance of a winning goal for both sides was not lost on any of the 28,646 inside the City Ground as, be they red or blue, they urged their team forward.
With 10 minutes remaining, Cox strained every sinew to get on the end of Dan Harding's throughball but he was beaten to it by Schmeichel.
Forest were the team that looked most likely to nick a winner as they poured forward with wave after wave of late attack.
But in the end their eagerness to do so cost them as Leicester pinched the ball and attacked with the Reds short at the back.
Wood squared the ball to Knockaert who had the simple task of tapping into an empty net from close range.