A tense League Two battle at Central Park ended with the result that neither side really wanted.
The draw knocked Forfar off top spot and while Cowden can still avoid the relegation play-offs, it is no longer in their own hands.
The bottom-of-the-league Fifers were the better side in the first 45 minutes but couldn’t fashion a goal, although Robbie Buchanan’s strike 60 seconds into the second period gave the Loons major problems.
A late tackle by left-back Shaun Rutherford on David Cox left the hosts to play the closing 35 minutes with 10 men and when Danny Denholm levelled in 68 with a neat finish it looked game on for Forfar.
But they struggled to really get going and Kyle Miller hit the underside of the bar for Cowden and only a superb goal- line clearance by Andy Munro, from David Syme’s close-in header, kept the home side out.
In the last few seconds Gavin Swankie came closest for Forfar with a 16-yard shot which brought out a fine save from home keeper Jamie Sneddon.
Loons boss Gary Bollan was not surprised by the challenge his team faced at Central Park.
“We have played Cowdenbeath four times now and every game has been really close,” he said.
“A win was what we wanted and when they went down to 10 and we levelled I through we could do it but it did not happen.
“There was no lack of endeavour, but we could not get the win so now we have to ensure we take three points from our game against Annan next Saturday and see what happens.
“Yes it is disappointing to be off the top of the table, but we can still win automatic promotion.”
Cowden need to win at Elgin and hope that either Clyde lose at Montrose or Berwick are beaten by Edinburgh City.
Cowden boss Gary Locke said: “We could have and should have beaten Forfar, for we were by far the better side.
“Even after we lost Shaun Rutherford we had some great chances but to come out of a game with the then league leaders with a point is no bad result”.
The manager is upbeat about the chances of avoiding a play-off with either Buckie Thistle or East Kilbride (the first leg in Aberdeenshire finished 2-2).
He added: “We have to make sure we do our job on Saturday and go to Elgin and win so that if either of the other two sides loses we have achieved our goal.”