Reading held at home by Barnsley
Reading stretched their undefeated Championship run to five matches but squandered two vital play-off points in a 0-0 home draw with Barnsley.
After a lacklustre first half, Yann Kermorgant went close for Reading when forcing an athletic sprawling save from Barnsley goalkeeper Adam Davies.
But Barnsley, also chasing a play-off place, finished strongly, with Marley Watkins hitting an upright and Adam Hammill shooting over when well placed.
Reading went into the game unbeaten in four, having won three and drawn one.
Jaap Stam had guided them to four wins from six games in January, which earned the Dutchman his first manager of the month award.
Barnsley sat seven points off the play-off places before kick off and had won only two of their previous seven fixtures in all competitions.
Amid snow flurries, Reading began the better, with full back Jordan Obita a constant threat on the left flank.
From a dangerous Obita cross into the heart of the Barnsley area, defender Angus MacDonald was forced to hurriedly volley clear.
Reading kept up the early pressure and, after Barnsley had failed to successfully deal with a Liam Kelly corner, Kermorgant shot wildly over the crossbar.
Barnsley replied with a delicately curled free-kick from Hammill but none of his team-mates were able to reach it before it crossed the byline.
Kelly was then twice involved, sending a 20-yard attempt over the bar and then seeing his close-range shot well blocked by MacDonald.
Barnsley were unable to make much headway going forward but could have gone in front after a penetrative run by Watkins.
However, his cross into the middle carried too much pace and Tom Bradshaw narrowly failed to connect with it.
Barnsley created an even better chance soon after, on the quick break, but Watkins was too slow to capitalise on Matty James' precise pass.
Two more opportunities came and went for Barnsley before the break.
Marc Roberts nodded a Hammill corner narrowly over and full back Gethin Jones could find only the sidenetting after cutting in from the right wing.
Barnsley carried on in the second half where they left off in the first, with Bradshaw hitting the roof of the home net with a speculative 20-yard effort.
Reading responded positively, with Chris Gunter crossing from the right and Kermorgant's first-time attempt forcing a fine save Davies.
Garath McCleary then drove in from the right before unleashing a fierce shot that Davies was relieved to see flash just wide.
Barnsley held strong and went closest to breaking the deadlock just past the hour, when Watkins' six-yard effort struck a post before rebounding to safety.
Hammill should have done better when finding himself free soon after but blazed high over the bar.
Davies saved well from Danny Williams as Reading pushed for the winner late on but the game petered out into a tame draw.
Source : PA