Reading are still to make certain of their place in the play-offs after a wasteful display in the goalless draw with Barnsley at the Madejski Stadium.
The home side went closest in the first half when Jay Tabb's 25-yard shot was turned round the post by Barnsley goalkeeper Luke Steele.
Tabb forced another save from Steele before the visiting keeper thwarted Dave Kitson in stoppage time.
Barnsley's Andranik Teymourian shot wide three times from long range.
Reading manager Steve Coppell on his side not winning at home for the seventh successive game: "It's massively disappointing once again. It's the strangest run of results at home I have known at any club I've been at.
"It's been the strangest season in many ways. Earlier on when we were winning games I was thinking 'how on earth were we winning those by threes, fours and fives?'.
"We were poor in the first half. It was almost as though there was nothing at stake for either team. It was shadow boxing.
"In the second we were what I expected us to be and we had opportunities. We just didn't have our shooting boots on."
Barnsley manager Simon Davey: "We know what we have to do and we have four games to do it. We know what points tally we need and this is another point towards it.
"This is a confidence-booster. The performance was good, the resilience was good and everybody was mucking in and working hard.
"I always have been confident of staying up, from day one of pre-season, and my players are exactly the same."
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