Billy Davies' Forest have not won in their last seven outings with their push for automatic promotion faltering - while they have now only won one of their last seven meetings with Rovers at the City Ground.
It left them holding on to sixth place in the play-off positions, only a point ahead of Reading, while Doncaster moved eight points clear of the drop zone.
Jamie Paterson might have had a two goals before the half time whistle, as Forest made a lively start.
The former Walsall man had three chances within the first 25 minutes, set up twice by knock-downs from Simon Cox, but had two shots charged down. Radi Majewski's pass had sent him angling into the box from the left side but his effort lacked the power to trouble Sam Johnstone.
Darlow had to make strong saves twice within the space of a minute at the other end, firstly to push away a powerful strike from skipper Ritchie Wellens and then to parry another fizzing effort from James Coppinger from the resulting corner.
David Cotterill found the side netting with a snap shot from the edge of the box as the visitors forged a shot spell of pressure, but Forest defender Jamaal Lascelles sent a header spinning over from a Reid free kick.
It was Doncaster who finished the half in the ascendancy, with Paterson making a fine block to take the power out of another driven effort from Cotterill and Mark Duffy hitting a shot on the turn that did not clear the bar by a huge margin.
The second period began in similar fashion, with Wellens sending a dipping volley a few feet to high of the target.
Reid had been influential for Forest but he was also tiring after returning from hernia surgery and was replaced on the hour mark by Jamie Mackie, while Forest quickly also added Darius Henderson to their front-line as they went in search of that elusive goal.
But it was Doncaster who again almost found it, with Duffy only denied by a fine save from Darlow and Sharp, the former Forest loan player, seeing a powerful volley deflected wide off Fox.
Sharp really should have scored when Cotterill swept in a free kick from the right but sent a diving header the wrong side of the post.
The striker's lay off did set up a chance for James Husband, who was denied by Darlow with yet another important save.
Majewski almost snatched the spoils for the home side with a spectacular 25-yard rocket that had Johnstone at full stretch for the first time, while sub Matt Derbyshire sent a header spinning over.
- Sports & Recreation
- Karl Darlow
- Paul Dickov
- David Cotterill