Match ends, Reading 0, Aston Villa 0.
Aston Villa missed out on the chance to close the gap on the play-off places as they were held to a goalless draw at struggling Reading.
The Villans came closest to breaking the deadlock before the break, with top scorer Tammy Abraham missing an excellent chance from close range and former Royals loanee Tommy Elphick heading against the bar.
Reading struggled to create many clear-cut chances but felt they should have had a penalty in the first half when Alan Hutton appeared to take down Ovie Ejaria in the area.
Abraham nearly snatched it for Villa, who have now won just one of their past 10 matches, but he was denied by a fine save from goalkeeper Emi Martinez.
The stalemate was Dean Smith's side's first of the season and left them four points outside the top six, while the Royals remained in the relegation zone.
Villa should have taken an early lead when England international Abraham failed to convert after Martinez saved Anwar El Ghazi's initial effort.
It was a competitive game throughout with both teams in need of points for different reasons, but a draw did little for either.
Reading visit Sheffield Wednesday next Saturday, while Villa are back in action when they host promotion-chasing Sheffield United on Friday.
Reading manager Jose Gomes told BBC Radio Berkshire:
"I'm not happy with a point, I wanted all three in order to move ourselves out of the position we're in.
"We played better in the first half, we created more chances, got our passing game going more. In the second half, Aston Villa played more direct and we struggled to get our game going.
"But, we managed to play some direct football too, forcing set pieces and chances towards the end and it was a typical Championship match full of emotion right until the end.
"I'm grateful to the crowd for keeping us going right until the end as it really helped us. This was a good point and we must capture the good things we're doing going forward."
Aston Villa manager Dean Smith told BBC Radio WM 95.6:
"There is a feeling of frustration but our performance levels are back to where I want them to be. We started well and were on the front foot and I thought we were especially good in the second half.
"We changed it tactically at half time and had the best chances in the game. Tammy Abraham had two headers and will probably be disappointed that he didn't score. On the balance of chances we were the better team today.
"They've got a new manager and they'll cause teams problems here. We looked resolute and Tyrone Mings was fantastic, but the only thing missing was a goal."
- 3YiadomBooked at 62mins
- 10SwiftBooked at 53mins
- 15HarriottSubstituted forRichardsat 67'minutes
- 16BakerSubstituted forAlukoat 70'minutes
- 22OliveiraBooked at 55minsSubstituted forMeiteat 73'minutes
- 28L Kalinic
- 6WhelanBooked at 49minsSubstituted forCarrollat 74'minutesBooked at 87mins
- 37AdomahSubstituted forKodjiaat 74'minutes
- 14HourihaneBooked at 90mins
- 7McGinnSubstituted forJedinakat 89'minutes
- 22El GhaziBooked at 49mins
- 27El Mohamady
- Geoff Eltringham
- Shots on Target
Second Half ends, Reading 0, Aston Villa 0.
Delay over. They are ready to continue.
Delay in match Liam Moore (Reading) because of an injury.
Corner, Reading. Conceded by Alan Hutton.
Conor Hourihane (Aston Villa) is shown the yellow card for a bad foul.
Andy Rinomhota (Reading) wins a free kick in the defensive half.
Foul by Conor Hourihane (Aston Villa).
Attempt missed. Jonathan Kodjia (Aston Villa) right footed shot from outside the box misses to the left. Assisted by Tommy Elphick with a headed pass.
Liam Moore (Reading) wins a free kick in the defensive half.
Foul by Tom Carroll (Aston Villa).
Hand ball by Omar Richards (Reading).
Foul by John Swift (Reading).
Jonathan Kodjia (Aston Villa) wins a free kick in the defensive half.
Substitution, Aston Villa. Mile Jedinak replaces John McGinn.
Tom Carroll (Aston Villa) is shown the yellow card for a bad foul.
John Swift (Reading) wins a free kick on the left wing.
Foul by Tom Carroll (Aston Villa).
Andy Rinomhota (Reading) wins a free kick on the left wing.
Foul by John McGinn (Aston Villa).