A win for Forest would have seen them close the gap to table-topping United to seven points, but they lost out as Rovers they claimed a deserved success.
Brian Stock rifled home a 44th minute thunderbolt from 35 yards to earn Rovers a deserved win, after Forest failed to reproduce their recent form.
Colin Calderwood's side were booed off the pitch by their own fans, after failing to add to their back to back wins over Chesterfield and Huddersfield.
After scoring five goals on Saturday, Forest were limited to a handful of chances by well organised opposition who attacked dangerously on the break.
Blackpool got their play-off bid back on track with a comfortable 2-0 victory over a disappointing Bournemouth outfit at Bloomfield Road.
The Seasiders set their stall out as early as the first minute when Adrian Forbes cut his way through a static defence, only to see his 12-yard shot hit the inside of a post and bounce to safety.
After 50 minutes Blackpool consolidated their lead. Again some good build-up work allowed David Fox room down the right and his inch-perfect cross was volleyed home by Burgess at the far post.
Port Vale and Cheltenham played out a 1-1 stalemate. The deadlock was broken three minutes before the break when Vale's Jason Talbot won back possession in his own half to supply Leon Constantine with a pass inside to kick start a counter attack.
The Robins defence was stretched to breaking point when Constantine's pass out to the flank found Malvin Kamara, who smashed a low shot on to Shane Higgs' right post and into the net.
The visitors got back into the game from Craig Armstrong's 70th minute long throw.
Vale's defence failed to clear it, helping Michael Townsend to volley the ball into the roof of the net from four yards.
The home fans were forced to the edge of their seats in the dying minutes when substitute Steven Gillespie broke down the left to squeeze a shot in at the by-line, but a sigh of relief was breathed as Joe Anyon saved.