The centre-half, signed on loan from Hull over the summer, headed home four minutes before half-time to preserve Forest's unbeaten record at the City Ground and inflict a first away defeat of the Sky Bet Championship season on Clough's side.
The margin of victory could have been greater than 1-0 had Darius Henderson not fluffed both a second-half header and a late penalty, which was brilliantly saved by goalkeeper Lee Grant.
"It is a good win for us and I am obviously very pleased," said the fiery Scot. "I have to say, it was against a side that, they tell me, are making very good progress - and this one is a shambles.
"I am absolutely pleased about what we are doing so far and now we move on to the next one.
"We were disappointed before the game to have lost (Kelvin) Wilson, (Jamie) Paterson and (Nathaniel) Chalobah. That was a big blow for us.
"And we were even more disappointed to have lost (Guy) Moussi during the first half, that was a big blow for us also.
"We should have scored more goals, because we missed a penalty as well. But, overall, it was a very important three points.
"It was tremendous for the fans to get the bragging rights back because they have not had those for a number of games."