Wigan Athletic and Luton Town fought out a dull 0-0 draw at DW Stadium.
With both teams battling against relegation, the fear of defeat seemed uppermost in the players’ minds and contributed to an uneventful spectacle.
Latics had the greater possession and had more shots than their opponents but real chances were at a premium.
Late in the game substitute Joe Garner had a good chance but headed straight at keeper Simon Sluga.
Then in added time Sluga denied Latics all three points with a superb save from substitute Michael Jacobs.
The draw meant that 20th placed Latics maintained the six point gap above 23rd placed Luton in the Championship table with nine games remaining.
Paul Cook made one change to the starting line up from last Saturday’s 1-0 win at West Bromwich Albion, with Kal Naismith replacing the injured Tom Pearce.
Latics pressed early on as they attempted to maintain their excellent recent form.
The hosts first real chance came on the half hour mark when Gary Roberts’ corner found Leon Balogun and the Brighton loanee headed just over the crossbar from close range.
A neat set-piece routine created Latics’ next chance as Roberts and Samy Morsy combined before setting up Williams, who saw his shot from the edge of the area well blocked.
The visitors rarely threatened in the opening half as Balogun and Cedric Kipre swept up any attacks.
But Graeme Jones’ team has a strong shout for a penalty when Joe Williams appeared to pull back Matty Pearson in the area.
The Hatters started the second-half strongly but couldn’t create any clear cut openings.
Substitute Anthony Pilkington and Kieffer Moore then tried their luck for Latics.
With time running out Latics had their two best opportunities of the game.
First Naismith’s cross was met by substitute Garner but the striker’s diving header was straight at Sluga.
Then substitute Jacobs had an even better chance when his low drive was superbly turned away by Sluga.
The points were shared and Latics had been prevented from extending their three game winning sequence.
Credit should be given to Luton, who have been on a good run of form recently, and produced a battling away performance but Latics were definitely not at their best.
Did they just have an off day, or did Cook’s fear of defeat affect his tactics and contribute to the poor showing?
There was certainly an edginess about Latics’ play and the fluency of recent weeks was noticeably absent.
Latics struggled to create many chances and they must show a marked improvement against Huddersfield next week if they are to get a good result.
Let’s hope this was just a blip and Cook’s team will get back to the type of high energy pressing football that has been so impressive in recent weeks.