Forest miss two penalties but beat 9-man Magpies in eventful Championship game
Nottingham Forest wasted two penalties but still beat nine-man Newcastle 2-1 in the Sky Bet Championship.
An own goal from former Forest player Jamaal Lascelles proved decisive on a night when the heroics of another former City Ground favourite, Karl Darlow, almost earned the leaders an unlikely point.
Magpies goalkeeper Darlow saved spot-kicks from Nicklas Bendtner and Henri Lansbury - after firstly Jonjo Shelvey and then Paul Dummett had been red-carded for incidents in the box.
Matt Ritchie put Rafael Benitez's side in front in between the two penalty misses but Bendtner levelled, before Lascelles deflected Lansbury's corner over the line to secure Forest's third successive Championship win.
A superb crossfield ball from Eric Lichaj picked out Matty Cash early on but Darlow produced an unorthodox save to deny the first-time shot.
Newcastle immediately hit back by creating their first opening through some unselfish play from Shelvey, who passed when he might have shot and saw Ritchie bend a 20-yard shot just wide of the upright.
Yoan Gouffran was not too far away with a similar effort from the opposite side of the box, with Vladimir Stojkovic at full stretch to cover as the ball fizzed inches wide.
Shelvey had been running the game for Newcastle but he was sent off after kicking out at Lansbury's face when both men were prone on the turf in the penalty area after challenging for the ball.
The moment also earned Forest a 34th minute penalty - but it was an opening they failed to take as Darlow dived to his left to push away a slightly hesitant effort from Bendtner.
Newcastle responded superbly to going a man down and they took the lead in the 45th minute. Cash gave away possession and Issac Hayden's cutback found Ritchie, who drove home a superb finish from 12 yards.
That was not the end of the first half drama however as, after another good ball from Lichaj had sent Lansbury skipping clear, the Forest marksman was brought down by Dummett.
Referee Steven Martin pointed to the spot for a second time - and showed another red card, one minute into first half injury time - but Darlow dived low to his right to deny Lansbury, who had taken over penalty duties from Bendtner.
Forest took only seven minutes of the second half to break Newcastle's resolve, albeit only after Darlow had made another fine save to deny Bendtner. The Dane reacted quickest, prodding the ball home from close range.
It was Bendtner's fifth goal against Newcastle, the most goals he has scored against any club in English football. He almost had a sixth - but he sent Thomas Lam's cross just over the bar.
Lansbury, Britt Assombalonga and Mustapha Carayol all had efforts on goal - but Darlow's only real save came from the latter's low shot.
The other former Forest player in the Newcastle ranks played a part in the game's third goal.
When Lansbury whipped in a superbly-flighted corner it caused chaos in the box and, as Matt Mills and Cash pressured at the far post, Lascelles got the final touch, steering the ball over the line.