After a goalless first half, the visitors grabbed the opener against the run of play on 61 minutes, Jorge Grant touching home from close range on his competitive debut for Forest, before Ryan Mason struck a sublime equaliser 11 minutes later – his first Spurs goal on his fifth appearance in our colours.
Roberto Soldado showed his striking instincts to divert home Andros Townsend’s shot to give us the lead seven minutes from time, before Harry Kane wrapped up the win with our third goal in stoppage time, a hard-fought but most certainly well deserved victory.
We learned after full-time that we will be at home to Brighton & Hove Albion at the next stage of the competition.
It was a much-changed side from the team which lost here to West Brom at the weekend, with Michel Vorm making his Spurs debut in goal, while both Federico Fazio and Benjamin Stambouli were appearing at the Lane for the first time.
There was a good tempo to the game with both sides knocking the ball around well, Forest looking to hit us on the break when in possession while we tried to cut a passage through their massed ranks in defence.
Neither side saw many chances in the early skirmishes and it wasn’t until the 12th minute before the first shot across the bows. Kyle Naughton’s cross was cleared, Jan Vertonghen ran on to the loose ball and let fly from 35 yards but Kelvin Wilson was quickly out to block to take the sting out of the shot, although Dorus De Vries still needed to dive to his left to save.
We were dominating the possession statistics but it was the visitors who went close to scoring on 23 minutes. Nabil Bentaleb was dispossessed by Ben Osborn who burst forward, cut inside two challenges and hit a rising shot that crashed off the underside of the crossbar and bounced out. The rebound was picked up by Jorge Grant, but his right foot curler was easy for Vorm.
It needed the long leg of Fazio to deny Lars Veldwijk three minutes later after the Forest striker had latched onto a long ball over the top, while the latter stages of the half saw us attempt a series of long-range efforts in an attempt to break the deadlock.
Townsend hit three of them, the closest on 34 minutes which fizzed just wide of the far post, Naughton saw a drive deflected back to him and Fazio smashed a 35-yard rocket which just cleared the crossbar.
It was exactly the same story after the interval as the visitors were content to defend in numbers and invite us to try to break them down, while hoping to spring their attacks on the counter. And we so nearly snatched the lead on 56 minutes when Ben Davies found a yard of space down the left and whipped in a great cross which Paulinho flicked goalwards, just past the far upright.
But it was Forest who opened the scoring just after the hour mark when Veldwijk picked up the ball out on the left, his low cross was touched on by Stephen McLaughlin and found Grant unmarked on the edge of the six yard box and he tucked home past Vorm.
A double substitution saw Ryan Mason and Harry Kane introduced for Stambouli and Paulinho respectively and Mason was quickly into the action, latching on to Soldado’s flick to send a low teasing centre across the six yard box, but no-one was there to convert.
Another Davies cross on 70 minutes was met well by Kane but his header was straight at De Vries. Just two minutes later we were level with a magnificent goal. Our Welsh full-back was involved again, popping the ball inside to Mason who took a touch and unleashed a superb 25-yard drive right into the top corner.
And it was another effort from distance that almost gave us the lead on 76 minutes. Jamaal Lascelles was penalised for a high boot on Kane and Townsend’s 25-yard free-kick went up and over the wall but cannoned off the crossbar as we started to exert pressure on Forest again.
We had to be patient all evening but that finally paid off seven minutes from time when we went ahead. It was another Townsend effort that created it, his 20-yard drive being poked home by Soldado’s outstretched boot, the Spaniard played onside by Lascelles inside the area.
And it was game over in the first minute of stoppage time as Kane added our third. Substitute Erik Lamela surged forwards down the right and threaded a lovely ball to Kane, who timed his run to perfection and smashed past De Vries.
Spurs: Vorm, Naughton, Fazio, Vertonghen, Davies, Bentaleb, Stambouli (Mason 65), Lennon, Paulinho (Kane 65), Townsend, Soldado (Lamela 85). Substitutes (not used): Friedel, Dier, Chiriches, Eriksen.
Forest: De Vries, Harding, Lascelles, Wilson, Fox, Paterson, Grant (Burke 87), Osborn, Vaughan (Tesche 46), McLaughlin, Veldwijk (Blackstock 74). Substitutes (not used): Darlow, Collins, Halford, Walker.
Goals: Spurs – Mason 72, Soldado 83, Kane 91; Forest – Grant 61.
Referee: Mr A Marriner.