Forest dominated possession for long spells, but it was the Addicks who had the better of the chances, with the Reds’ Dutch keeper denying Simon Makienok and Patrick Bauer in the space of two minutes – with the second stop truly world class, as he swatted away the defender’s close range header.
The home side had carved out chances of their own, most notably for Henri Lansbury – but it told a significant tale that Charlton keeper Nick Pope had only one meaningful save to make.
Forest began with the greatest sense of urgency and saw Chris Burke and Henri Lansbury both try their luck from distance, without finding the target.
While a fine run and cross from Oliver Burke, on his full debut for the home side, deserved to carve out a goal, but went wasted as Chris Burke failed to properly connect with a shot towards the far post and, after Jamie Ward had seen his low, crisp shot well saved by Nick Pope, the visitors began to claim the ascendency.
By the interval, it was Charlton who should have had the advantage, with Makienok twice heading over at the far post, when presented with fine opportunities.
The first chance, from a Morgan Fox cross, was really one he should have converted. Johann Gudmundsson was then left with his head in his hands after seeing a forceful, dipping free kick skim the top of the bar from 25 yards, as Forest found themselves holding on.
Forest were living on a diet of half chances, with Oliver Burke seeing a shot charged down by his own team-mate Dexter Blackstock.
Michael Mancienne did lift a shot over as the ball fell kindly for him in the opposition area, early in the second half, as Forest upped the pace of the game.
Lansbury drove a powerful free kick into the Charlton defensive wall and a rising shot from David Vaughan was not far over the bar.
But it was De Vries who had to pull off an outstanding save to keep out Charlton, as Makienok finally found the target with a header, sending a precise, downward effort low towards the bottom corner.
The Forest keeper made an even better stop two minutes later, this time after Patrick Bauer had attacked a corner with a ferocious header that de Vries kept out in breath taking fashion when it seemed bound for the net.
Lansbury was getting even closer to a goal, bending a shot just wide from 22 yards. While sub Jorge Grant was left with his head in his hands after firing over from ten yards, as the home side enjoyed another spell of pressure.