Struggling Stoke and Reading battled to a dour goalless draw at the Bet365 Stadium.
Michael O'Neill's side remain in the Championship relegation places after failing to put away the misfiring Royals.
Stoke squandered a host of presentable chances as three points went begging on home soil.
Victory would have seen the hosts leapfrog Luton after they lost at play-off contenders Preston North End.
Neither side managed to test the opposition's keeper in a poor encounter for the 21,701 supporters who turned out in blustery conditions.
Stoke ensured they went six games without defeat against Mark Bowen's side after picking up a point.
The draw means Reading remained five points above Stoke and the dreaded drop zone.
Both sides made changes after a busy week of Championship football.
Danny Batth came in for Ryan Shawcross in the hosts defence after the veteran limped off with a groin injury during the club's 3-0 win over Luton whilst the Royals made a trio of alterations after their draw at basement boys Barnsley.
It was a slow opening first half with the game lacking any standout quality in tough conditions.
Former Burnley ace Sam Vokes headed an early chance over for the hosts.
Sam Clucas could only send his effort over as the hosts looked most likely to find an opening.
Just before the break talented Tom Ince tried to create something special with his audacious strike going wide.
James McClean could not quite take advantage of some confusion in the Reading box as he blasted wide in the 48th minute.
Adam did well to fizz a ball across the face of the Potters' goal with no Reading player able to get on the end of it and turn it home.
Stoke started to look dangerous with half-time substitute Tommy Smith firing over after cutting inside.
McClean nodded over as the hosts continued to create chances without testing Rafael Cabral.
With eight minutes left Ince came agonisingly close as his curled effort flew inches wide of the far corner.