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The Madejski Stadium (ATT 19,420) 18th April 2009 - Kick off 15:00 Ref: R Beeby

Reading Reading vs Barnsley Barnsley

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Royals frustrated by Tykes

Coppell's men now battling to nail down play-off spot

Last Updated: 18/04/09 5:48pm

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Kitson: Denied late on

Kitson: Denied late on

Barnsley edged out of the relegation zone after a battling 0-0 draw at out-of-sorts Reading.

Steve Coppell's Reading had harboured ambitions of automatic promotion but are now fighting to secure a play-off spot after a run of one win in nine minutes.

For their part, the Tykes offered a spirited display to buoy under-fire manager Simon Davey, who had fans calling for his head after Easter Monday's defeat by Swansea City.

The Royals have now failed to score in six of their last seven home games but went closest in the first half when Jay Tabb's 25-yard shot was turned round the post by Barnsley goalkeeper Luke Steele.

Steele, who was recalled in place of Heinz Muller, was the busiest of the two keepers and again saved from Tabb in the second period before thwarting Dave Kitson in stoppage time as Reading's profligacy continued.

The relegation-threatened Tykes, who are without an away success since mid-February, had one effort on target in the opening 45 minutes when Adam Hammill shot straight at Reading shot-stopper Marcus Hahnemann but failed to test the Royals' defence in the second half.

Brothers Noel and Stephen Hunt combined after three minutes, but the latter could only head over for the promotion-chasing hosts.

Anderson De Silva's right-footed volley from 25 yards drifted wide before Jon Macken fluffed a shot from 12 yards for the visitors.

Noel Hunt headed over from recalled strike partner Kitson's cross before Tabb's left-footed shot from the right edge of the area was well saved by Steele, who was making his eighth appearance of the season.

Frustrated

Kitson, who has netted once in six games since returning on loan from Stoke, failed to convert Stephen Hunt's corner after mis-hitting his shot from 12 yards.

Hammill then could not test Hahnemann from 20 yards as the Reading goalkeeper made a comfortable save before Andre Bikey headed over from six yards at the other end after Stephen Hunt's free-kick and Tabb was off target with a header from Kebe's cross.

Hahnemann saved De Silva's close-range effort and Liam Rosenior, back from suspension, shot wide early in the second period.

Kitson headed straight at Steele and then headed over as Reading were again frustrated in attack.

De Silva shot wide from a free-kick before Tabb was again denied by Steele and Shane Long headed over from Jem Karacan's cross.

Kebe volleyed over from six yards and Steele made a straightforward save from Kitson as Reading struggled in front of goal once more.

Andranik Teymourian shot wide three times from long range at the other end and Kitson saw another header saved by Steele as the game ended in a stalemate.

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Table

Sky Bet Championship

Sky Bet Championship
Pos Team P Pts
1 Bournemouth 24 48
2 Ipswich Town 23 44
3 Middlesbrough 24 43
4 Derby County 23 42
5 Watford 24 41
6 Brentford 24 40
7 Norwich City 24 37
8 Wolverhampton Wanderers 24 37
9 Blackburn Rovers 24 35
10 Nottingham Forest 24 31
11 Charlton Athletic 23 31
12 Cardiff City 24 31
13 Sheffield Wednesday 23 31
14 Birmingham City 24 31
15 Bolton Wanderers 24 29
16 Reading 24 29
17 Fulham 23 28
18 Huddersfield Town 24 28
19 Rotherham United 24 26
20 Leeds United 23 24
21 Millwall 24 23
22 Wigan Athletic 23 20
23 Brighton and Hove Albion 23 20
24 Blackpool 24 14

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