In their last home game of a miserable season, the Owls' target was to set up a final-day decider at relegation rivals Derby County.
It was almost 31 years ago to the day Forest sent Wednesday down from the old First Division but they lacked the quality or the urgency to repeat the feat on Saturday. At full-time, a 0-0 draw had kept survival on the table, but only just.
Derby now only need a point at Swansea City in their 3pm kick-off to send the Owls down. Four points for Rotherham United in the two games they have before the final weekend would also send them down. Fortunately for Wednesday, both are in poor form but these are the closing weeks of a relegation battle, absolutely nothing can be taken for granted.
Darren Moore's side could have made the equation slightly less uncomfortable but ultimately, against a Forest side freewheeling to the finish having long since pulled away from the relegation zone, they were not quite good enough.
One can only wonder how different it could have been with Hillsborough rocking to supporters urging them on, but without them the performance was not terrible, but nor did it inspire you to believe that a great escape was on. Thanks to Keiren Westwood, though, there is hope.
Wednesday missed the better chances of the afternoon, looking much more potent once Jordan Rhodes came off the bench to join Josh Windass, but would have lost had it not been for Westwood saving a self-inflicted penalty. There could easily have been another.
It was not a display or a result to pile pressure on the Rams and the Millers.
The first half was fairly humdrum until Westwood put the Owls in big trouble, only to get them out of it with the final touch of the half.
Wednesday were caught overplaying at home to Swansea City last month, and it looked like being their ubndoing again on the stroke of half-time.
Moore likes his teams to play out from the back but when Westwood chipped a pass to Adam Reach, deep in Owls territory, his header back across was ill-advised. Filip Krovinovic picked it up and was clattered by the goalkeeper.
Lewis Grabban had scored in the last three games Forest had, but Westwood brilliantly made up for his error, stretching left to turn a decent spot kick around the post.
Although Forest had been having a spell of relative pressure, a goal had not really been coming.
With little to play for the visitors struggled to inject any oomph and the hosts' nerves stopped them taking a firm grip.
They teased their fans watching at home by hinting they might break through without doing so.
As so often, Barry Bannan was at the heart of what they did well.
It was his lovely ball goalkeeper Brice Samba took off the head of lone striker Windass in the seventh minute.
The captain did well to find Andre Green midway through the first half but the move broke down because right wing-back Callum Paterson could not find Windass.
Kadeem Harris was making good runs down the left and had a deflected shot save in the 10th minute but too often the deliveries he and Reach produced did not find men. When Reach put in one of his best crosses, Yuri Ribeiro did well to stop Paterson arriving onto it.
When Reach found Harris he was off balance and his shot comfortably off target.
Windass was playing well too - it was his defensive block, with his arm but not a handball - which had released Harris, and his excellent turn and pass sent the same player free again, only for Scott McKenna to tackle well.
That was more or less the sum of it for Wednesday in the opening 45 minutes. Not that Forest threatened much either.
Westwood got a warning in the 15th minute when his pass went straight to Ribeiro, who was unable to use it, but he carried on playing the same way.
Sam Hutchinson had to defend well after Grabban beat Bannan too easily and strode away. Ryan Yates latched onto the loose ball and put it well wide.
Grabban was just unable to get on the end of a Krovinovic cross in the 43rd minute and Cyrus Christie produced a weak shot but they had their moment from the penalty spot, and were unable to take it.
Wednesday nearly played themselves into trouble again five minutes after the break, Julian Borner underhitting a backpass. Again Westwood dug them out, forcing Grabban so wide he could only fund the side netting.
Harris's touch let him down as he arrived onto a Windass cross minutes before the Owls ramped up their attacking threat by introducing Rhodes to the middle of a front three.
Windass slipped crossing to Rhodes and the stretching striker was unable to divert his header goalwards. Samba saved well as Windass shot from a tight angle, and Rhodes thumped a header from a corner straight at him.
Christie blocked the latter's shot when Windass and Rhodes linked again, and Reach put the loose ball wide from a tight angle, then Rhodes missed the target after a poor pass out by Joe Worrall and failed to really get hold of a stoppage-time header.
Borner put a Joey Pelupessy cross at the goalkeeper.
Paterson was fortunate not to conceded a 75th-minute penalty when he was all over substitute Alex Mighten. For all the chances the hosts had, there would have been a smash-and-grab feel about an away win but the hosts were not good enough to take up the three points on offer.
Sheffield Wednesday: Westwood; Palmer, Hutchinson, Borner; Paterson, Pelupessy, Bannan, Reach; Harris, Green (Rhodes 55); Windass.
Unused substitutes: Wildsmith, Brennan, Urhoghide, Dunkley, Hunt, Shaw, Dele-Bashiru, Kachunga.
Nottingham Forest: Samba; Christie, Worrall, McKenna, Ribeiro; Yates; Knockaert, Garner, Cafu (Mighten 65), Krovinovic; Grabban (Taylor 74).
Unused substitutes: Smith, Mbe Soh, Colback, Bong, Jenkinson, Dawson, Murray.
Referee: T Robinson (West Sussex)
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