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Reading FC 0-0 Middlesbrough: Instant Reaction

A clean sheet and a point for the hosts against one of the top sides in this year's Championship stretches Steve Clarke's unbeaten run to four games.

Ben Hoskins/Getty Images

As the line-ups came out it was the surprise inclusion of Pavel Pogrebnyak that raised the most eyebrows, with Huddersfield match-winner Nick Blackman on the bench.

The Royals were set up to counter against a strong Boro outfit, holding a deep defensive line that saw Aitor Karanka's men pressure the hosts for large parts of the 90 minutes.

Visiting winger Adam Reach missed the best chance of the first half, skying a great chance for three yards out. Reading struggled to create too many openings in the first period, but the games frantic pace was clearly too much for the linesman- who came off injured after 34 minutes for the fourth official.

The second half saw Reading more threatening, mainly through set-pieces, but the visitors were still the more dangerous. Adam Federici was called upon to make great saves from the likes Albert Adomah and Patrick Bamford to keep the scores level- Boro defender Daniel Ayala missing another great chance.

Perhaps the highlight for the hosts was the return of Jem Karacan in the 87th minute, the midfielder receiving a thunderous reception for his first appearance since September 2013.

The game finished with Reading successfully holding out for a second clean sheet in a row, but dropping to 17th in the table- Boro stay fourth.

We'll have full report and ratings up soon.