The hosts' first opportunity arrived in the 15th minute when Lewis Grabban delivered a low cross to Tresor Kandol, but the striker's shot went straight into the hands of visiting keeper Stuart Tomlinson.
Neil Harris had Tomlinson at full stretch two minutes later to keep out his goal-bound effort.
Andy Frampton's 27th minute shot took a deflection before being saved by Tomlinson as the Lions began to increase the pressure on their struggling opponents, but John Brayford almost gave Crewe a shock lead shortly before the break when his volley sailed narrowly over the bar.
Substitute Gary Alexander headed wide of the post in the 73rd minute, the first notable incident in a disappointing second half devoid of any goalmouth incident up to that point.
Harris had a great opportunity to put in a cross to a host of colleagues waiting in the six-yard box on 79 minutes but instead opted to go for goal himself, although Tomlinson dealt comfortably with the shot.