Nottingham Forest played out a goalless draw against Wigan Athletic at the DW Stadium this afternoon to stop a run of three straight defeats.
In a game lacking in quality in the final third, neither side were able to carve out clear openings and both sides had to settle for a point which keeps The Reds six points ahead of their hosts.
Gary Brazil made three changes to the side which lost to Sheffield Wednesday last Saturday, with Mustapha Carayol, Zach Clough and Britt Assombalonga all coming into the starting line-up in place of Matty Cash, Jamie Ward and Ross McCormack.
The first half was very scrappy as both sides struggled to create any openings. The majority of the play was in the middle of the park but the first chance of the game fell to the hosts.
Omar Bogle was sharp at the back post following a Wigan corner on four minutes and he flashed a volley across the face of goal from a tight angle, but thankfully wide of the far post and the former Grimsby man tried his luck from further out on 12 minutes, shooting from the edge of the box but harmlessly wide.
The Reds came to life on 19 as neat one-touch play between Clough, Ben Brereton and Assombalonga found the latter with space in front of goal but his first time shot didn't trouble Matt Gilks in the Wigan goal.
Moments later and quick thinking from David Vaughan set Brereton free down the right hand side. The 17-year-old cut inside his man and went down under the challenge in the box but no penalty was given. Wigan had their own appeals waved away on 34 as Bogle went down under Vaughan's challenge as nothing seemed to be working in front of goal for either side.
Assombalonga's eyes lit up when he pounced on a heavy touch by Wigan defender Jake Buxton. The forward, placed around 40 yards from goal, knocked the ball through only to be taken out by the centre half who picked up a yellow card.
The first half ended goalless and the second started in much the same vein as both sides struggled to dominate. The introduction of Jamie Ward from the bench added some extra impetus to the Forest attack and his snapshot on 59 forced Gilks into a save as it looked like the ball would loop over him.
Three minutes later and Eric Lichaj had The Reds' best chance of the game. The full back cut inside from the right and hit a curling effort with the outside of his foot which agonisingly drifted just wide of the far post.
Osborn shot wide from 25 yards, Ward's thunderous shot was blocked by Stephen Warnock and Carayol - Forest's biggest threat throughout the game - forced Gilks into a save at his near post as The Reds looked to find the decisive goal.
It nearly came on 90 minutes after Ward won a free kick on the right hand side. Osborn's delivery to the near post was met by Joe Worrall but his header flashed wide of the near post.
A dangerous cross from The Latics in injury time was almost reached by Gilbey who was ushered out of the way by some good defending by Lichaj, and right at the death a quick break by Carayol almost found an opening but he couldn't find the pass to put the ball on a plate for either Assombalonga or Ward.
The game lacked in quality but not in effort and both sides ultimately had to settle for a point.
Forest: J.Smith, Lichaj (c), Worrall, Fox, Pinillos, Carayol, Vaughan, Osborn, Clough (Ward 57'), Brereton (McCormack 82'), Assombalonga
Subs: Evtimov, Cohen, Tshibola, Cash, Ahmedhodzic
Booking: Vaughan 70'
: WiganGilks, Buxton, Power (Obertan 58'), Morsy, Warnock (c), Hanson, Tunnicliffe, MacDonald, Burn, Mandron (Gilbey 58'), Bogle (Grigg 84')
Subs: Roberts, Perkins, Connolly, Weir
Booking: Buxton 38'
Referee: Geoff Eltringham
Attendance: 11,254 (Away 1,516)