A 0-0 draw with Barnsley on Saturday afternoon saw Reading fail to score at the Madesjki Stadium for just the third time this season as Jaap Stam's men lost their grip on their spot in the top three.
Openings in the opening 45 minutes were rather scarce, Liam Kelly and Yann Kermorgant firing off-target whilst the visitors pressed well and ended the half rather confidently.
That theme was extended into the second-half thanks to Watkins' smash against the post and Hammill's squandered one-on-one chance for Barnsley, which came amongst half chances for Roy Beerens and Kermorgant. Curiously, Stam opted to deploy Lewis Grabban from the break, the loanee replacing Kelly and playing in midfield.
Late on, Adrian Popa was thrown on for a debut but Reading's rally failed to produce a dramatic winner, extending the Royals' unbeaten run to five games.
Meanwhile, Chris Samuelson was also spotted in the director's box at the game as the status of the potential takeover remains unclear.
Reading: Al-Habsi, Obita, Blackett, Moore, Gunter, Williams, Kelly (Grabban), Swift, Beerens (Meite), McCleary (Popa), Kermorgant