Barnsley drew 0-0 at third-placed Reading and are now tenth in the Championship, six points off the top six.
The Reds defended well and had several superb chances to win the game but had to settle for their second successive goalless stalemate.
Paul Heckingbottom made three changes to the side that drew 0-0 at home to Preston seven days earlier as he dropped loanees Callum Elder, Ryan Kent and Adam Armstrong to the bench.
Andy Yiadom returned to the starting line-up after his trip to the Africa Cup of Nations while Adam Hammill and Ryan Williams also came back in to play on the wings in a 4-4-2 with Marley Watkins partnering Tom Bradshaw up front.
Reading had the better of the first 20 minutes with Yann Kermorgant and Liam Kelly both volleying over after a nervous-looking Barnsley defence had failed to clear crosses. But the visitors grew into the game and had several chances.
Matty James played Watkins clean through with a fantastic pass but the Welshman's shot was straight at Ali Al Habsi in the Reading goal. Marc Roberts then headed narrowly off target from a corner by Hammill, who then produced a superb through ball to play in Gethin Jones but the right-back scuffed a fantastic chance wide of the near post from the right of the box.
Bradshaw almost opened the scoring just after half-time with a powerful volley which went just over, but the Royals were on top for the next 20 minutes.
Adam Davies saved well from Kermorgant then saw a Garath McCleary shot go just wide from outside the box. The Reds almost took the lead when Watkins volleyed against the post after Bradshaw headed Williams' cross across goal.
The hosts then came close with Jones blocking an effort from Roy Beerens and Danny Williams failing to test Davies from close range.
Adam Hammill should have won it for the visitors when he was put clean through after great work by Bradshaw and substitute Armstrong but the winger fired over.
The Royals then tested Davies for the first time in the 92nd minute when he tipped over Danny Williams' 25-yard shot.
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Second successive 0-0 for Reds
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