READING FC laboured to a goalless draw with struggling Burton Albion as the Royals fans once again protested against club owner Dai Yongge.
There was little action on the pitch, but plenty from the stands as Reading fans threw tennis balls onto the field for the second successive home game, while many chose to wear black in a boycott of the club’s colours.
The result means Reading are in 21st place on six points from nine matches having had four points deducted.
Ruben Selles made five changes from Reading’s heavy defeat from Blackpool as Harlee Dean, Matty Carson, Harvey Knibbs, Tom McIntyre and Lewis Wing came into the starting 11.
Fans once again showed their frustrations at club owner Dai Yongge by throwing tennis balls onto the pitch, while s\some supporters also chose to wear black instead of club colours.
Femi Azeez tried to find Kelvin Ehibhatiomhan lurking at the back post to set up an early chance as Burton managed to turn the ball behind.
Burton’s first chance fell on the edge of the box for Joe Powell who ballooned the ball into the Eamonn Dolan stand.
Hundreds of tennis balls were launched onto the pitch in the 16th minute from all four corners of the ground to bring play to a halt with the players led down the tunnel.
Neither side were able to gain much momentum after the restart as Ehibhatiomhan headed over the top after Harlee Dean had knocked Charlie Savage’s floated free-kick back across the box.
Savage tried to pick out the top left hand corner after he was teed up by Azeez and narrowly missed with a curling effort.
Azeez also tried his luck late in the half with a left footed strike that stung the psalm of Max Crocombe.
Selles was forced into a change in stoppage time as McIntyre had to be replaced by Nelson Abbey.
After more than 10 minutes of added time, the team’s went into the break without the scoreline being breached.
Reading started the second-half with intent as Knibbs and Azeez persisted to get their side into the box before Ehibhatiomhan blasted a shot directly at Crocombe.
Azeez had a sniff at goal after some tenacious work down the left from Ehibhatiomhan and saw his effort blocked away by Crocombe.
Another sight of goal for the hosts came when Knibbs broke into the box and from a tight angle had his shot saved before Azeez was unable to trouble the keeper on the follow up with a header.
Selles made a double switch with 20 minutes to go after a flat performance which saw Dom Ballard and Paul Mukairu replace Ben Elliott and Knibbs.
Matty Carson fired in a purposeful whipped cross looking for Ballard in the middle as the ball escaped his grasp and the chance went begging.
The Royals sprung into life as a drilled shot from Ehibhatiomhan was palmed away by the keeper before he got up to deny Azeez from an acute angle.
Selles’ next change saw club captain Andy Yiadom replace Carson at left-back.
The hosts continued to press to find an opening goal as a swift counter attack was ignited by Ballard’s clever flick on the halfway line which eventually led to a dangerous free-kick on the left which proved be wasteful as Crocombe caught Wing’s cross with ease.
The next opening came through Bindon who crossed for Ballard to arrive at the front post, but he could only divert over the top as Reading’s frustrations continued.
Wing tried his luck from distance and it almost paid off when Crucombe spilled the ball and recovered just in time to prevent Azeez from reaching the loose ball.
A final double change saw Sam Hutchinson and Tivonge Rushesha replace Savage and Ehibhatiomhan for the final few minutes.
After five minutes of additional time, a frustrating work’s afternoon for the Royals was brought to an end.
Next up for Selles’ side is an away trip to Northampton Town on Tuesday night.
Reading: Button, Carson, Dean, Bindon, McIntyre, Savage, Wing, Knibbs, Elliott, Azeez, Ehibhatiomhan,
Subs: Boyce-Clarke, Ballard, Mukairu, Yiadom, Hutchinson, Abbey, Rushesha
Burton Albion: Crocombe, Seddon, Oshilaja, Hughes, Sweeney, Powell, Bennett, Lubala, Helm, Baah, Hamer
Subs: Blackman, Harper, Gordon, Walker, Carayol, Caprice, Gilligan