Centre Tim Streather says Nottingham's heartbreaking defeat against Bedford earlier in the season provided the motivation for Sunday's 25-17 win over their Championship promotion rivals.
The Green & Whites lost 27-25 in September with the winning kick coming after 14 minutes of injury time.
But an impressive display at Meadow Lane saw Nottingham go ahead of Bedford and into second place in the table.
"We knew we had to do it after losing how we did at their place," he said.
"It was vital that we won. We have had good days here before, but this is right up there."
Nottingham led 18-0 at half time with Streather touching down on 19 minutes and Sean Romans getting his first try for the club.
The visitors responded late on but Nottingham held on for a first win over Bedford in seven attempts since January 2010.
The Green & Whites move four points clear of the Blues in third and have jumped 10 points ahead of Leeds in fourth, with Bristol a further two behind in fifth place.
Newcastle are 12 points clear at the top, with a game in hand on Nottingham.
"In the first half we were clinical, we did everything we wanted to and defended with great effort and accuracy," Streather continued.
"The last 15 we let it go a little through a few inaccuracies, but that is four points against a very good Bedford side."
"There is no pressure that comes with being second, we are all just really happy with where we are right now.
"Our initial aim at the start of the season was top four and we are well on course to achieve that. When you get there you want to stay there."