Wigan were unable to enhance their Championship survival prospects after a dull 0-0 draw with Nottingham Forest.
Having scored just once from open play in their previous three fixtures, the division's lowest scorers rarely threatened a Forest team that were at least able to stop the rot after three straight defeats.
With Bristol City drawing at Newcastle, victory for Latics would have moved them level with the last team currently safe in the table, but the two-point gap to the Robins remains.
The game was being played at the DW Stadium, which had been scheduled to be the venue for Wigan Warriors' Super League clash with Widnes Vikings the previous night.
That clash was controversially postponed - and later rearranged at Widnes - amid fears the surface would be too barren for Latics to then perform on, and the early indications were that both teams would have to negotiate a deck prone to bobbles.
The Forest defence could not blame that when they failed to deal with Jamie Hanson's early corner, though, and Omar Bogle lashed an effort across goal which may have just grazed the bar on its way wide.
Zach Clough was caught out by the surface when miscontrolling a pass, allowing Bogle to fire wide again as Wigan looked to make their bright start count.
At the other end, 17-year-old Ben Brereton swept a first-time pass into Britt Assombalonga that he in turn steered wide.
Both Brereton and Bogle were denied penalties when going down under challenges from Dan Burn and David Vaughan, respectively, as a forgettable first half drew to a close.
Bogle tried to create something at the start of the second half but could not get clean contact on an effort on the turn while Burn, the tall centre-back, was perhaps the last person Latics boss Warren Joyce would have wanted the ball to fall to from close range and he was unable to test visiting goalkeeper Jordan Smith.
The introduction of Northern Ireland international Jamie Ward just before the hour gave Forest a spark and he tested Matt Gilks from range.
Eric Lichaj then came closer still when advancing forward before curling a right-footed attempt with the outside of his boot just wide.
Joyce also tried to turn the tide in Wigan's favour with his substitutes, bringing on Gabriel Obertan and Alex Gilbey, back after five months out with an ankle problem, while Will Grigg came on with six minutes to go.
The decision to withdraw Bogle then was jeered by the home supporters, who almost had further cause for displeasure when Joe Worrall nodded Ben Osborn's free-kick wide in stoppage time, while Gilbey failed to reach Hanson's cross even later still before the full-time whistle sounded.
Wigan boss Warren Joyce:
"We will prepare all week so hopefully we go into it a little fresher than the slog we've been on and give it everything they've got. I think they've done that over a sustained period. You couldn't fault their effort and endeavour.
"Quality sometimes is the thing from tiredness or a slog, or that defiance sometimes when you play and everyone wants to hit a quality final pass or finish. Scoring goals is the hardest thing to do in football, we've had plenty of chances and just not taken them."
Nottingham Forest boss Gary Brazil:
"I don't think about how many points we need. I think there's 12 games to go and we'll take as many points as we can out of those games. I think there will be an ability for us to get stronger as we go through the season.
"It's not something I'm considering or thinking about. We will get fitter, stronger, work harder and the points will come for us."