Match ends, Reading 0, Derby County 0.
Reading 0-0 Derby County
Derby's hopes of automatic Championship promotion suffered a setback when they were held to a goalless draw by Reading at the Madejski Stadium.
It was the Rams' fourth match without a win, while Reading's play-off chances were dented by their poor home form.
In a scrappy contest, Derby's Craig Forsyth scooped over from close range before Reading substitute Adam Le Fondre miscued from a few yards out.
Derby are now 10 points behind second-placed Burnley.
Usually such a free-scoring side, Steve McClaren's men have drawn a blank in their last four league games.
Reading's failure to win a fourth successive home game is at least tempered by their 4-2 win at Leeds last Tuesday, but they slipped out of the play-off places after Wigan's win at Ipswich.
Energetic Derby striker Jamie Ward did his best to find a breakthrough, finding Forsyth with a clever near-post header, but he was let down by the Scot's finishing.
After threatening only briefly in the first half, Reading appeared the more reinvigorated after the interval, with Jobi McAnuff drawing a save from Lee Grant and a Hope Akpan effort deflecting off Kaspars Gorkss before nestling in the Derby goalkeeper's grasp.
Le Fondre had the hosts' best opportunity, and was fortunate that Derby substitute Patrick Bamford wasted two decent chances as the game petered out into an inevitable draw.
Derby boss Steve McClaren: "We controlled the game and the performance was great from the players.
"If we hadn't been scoring all season, I'd be more concerned, but we have been.
"We're making chances but sometimes in a season you go through a barren patch. We've just got to keep playing as we're doing."
Reading manager Nigel Adkins on slipping out of the play-offs places: "I'm not too worried about that. Our confidence is still high and the players have been top drawer for me.
"There's a lot of positivity about the place. We've been the course and distance before and it's a very exciting time here. We're really looking forward to the last 10 games.
"They're a good side, Derby. We looked to nullify them as they looked to nullify us. I thought we were really strong in the second half. We missed quite a few chances but that's the way it happens sometimes."
- 20GuthrieBooked at 22mins
- 19Robson-KanuSubstituted forLe Fondreat 32'minutesBooked at 88mins
- 10DrentheSubstituted forBlackmanat 79'minutes
- 9Le Fondre
- 14EustaceBooked at 90mins
- 19HughesSubstituted forHendrickat 30'minutes
- 10WardSubstituted forRussellat 90+2'minutes
- 32DawkinsBooked at 43minsSubstituted forBamfordat 62'minutes
- Michael Jones
- Shots on Target
Second Half ends, Reading 0, Derby County 0.
Delay over. They are ready to continue.
Delay in match Kaspars Gorkss (Reading) because of an injury.
Substitution, Derby County. Johnny Russell replaces Jamie Ward.
Chris Martin (Derby County) wins a free kick in the defensive half.
Foul by Kaspars Gorkss (Reading).
John Eustace (Derby County) is shown the yellow card for a bad foul.
Foul by John Eustace (Derby County).
Nick Blackman (Reading) wins a free kick in the defensive half.
Adam Le Fondre (Reading) is shown the yellow card for hand ball.
Hand ball by Adam Le Fondre (Reading).
Attempt saved. Patrick Bamford (Derby County) left footed shot from very close range is saved in the centre of the goal.
Attempt blocked. Patrick Bamford (Derby County) left footed shot from very close range is blocked.
Corner, Derby County. Conceded by Jordan Obita.
Attempt missed. Nick Blackman (Reading) left footed shot from the centre of the box is too high. Assisted by Garath McCleary with a cross.
Attempt blocked. Garath McCleary (Reading) right footed shot from outside the box is blocked. Assisted by Hope Akpan.
Attempt missed. Hope Akpan (Reading) header from the left side of the six yard box is close, but misses to the left. Assisted by Garath McCleary with a cross.
Attempt blocked. Nick Blackman (Reading) right footed shot from outside the box is blocked. Assisted by Jobi McAnuff.
Foul by Jamie Ward (Derby County).