Royals and Boro share stalemate

Middlesbrough meandered their way to their third straight 0-0 draw in the Championship as they shared the spoils at Reading.

Last Updated: 01/10/11 at 18:03

McDonald: Went close for Boro

McDonald: Went close for Boro

More of the games that matter

Upgrade in minutes or watch with a NOW TV Day Pass.

A quick and lively first half at the Madejski Stadium gave way to a tiresome and tedious second, as neither side could open up the other's defences.

Reading's Australian goalkeeper Adam Federici produced a superb double save to deny Middlesbrough pair Scott McDonald and Marvin Emnes, while Adam Le Fondre and Simon Church went close for the Royals. Marvin Emnes and Barry Robson both hit the post late on, as Boro piled on the pressure, but in the end the two teams had to settle for a point.

The Royals took all the momentum from their astonishing late comeback win at Bristol City in midweek into the match's opening exchanges.

For the first quarter-of-an-hour the hosts camped themselves in Boro territory. Hal Robson-Kanu, restored to the starting line-up in place of Noel Hunt, shot straight at the keeper, Simon Church headed just wide from Jobi McAnuff's cross and the same player then fired wide when well placed.

Boro could not get a foothold on proceedings, with Matthew Bates' looping header which sailed well over the crossbar the visitors' best chance.

Jay Tabb should have done better than head Shaun Cummings' cross wide, but on 27 minutes the away side almost took a shock lead.

Federici, until then a passenger in the game, sprung into action to produce a stunning double save to deny first McDonald and then Emnes when both seemed certain to score.

The Aussie was a one-man wall at Ashton Gate on Wednesday, and the stopper was recreating that form, as he did superbly to keep out Boro in the lead-up to the interval.

And Reading emerged from a period of concerted Middlesbrough pressure unscathed to go in level at half time, with both Adam Le Fondre and Church going close before the break.

The second half failed to match the intensity of the first in its early exchanges, with both sides seeming to flail a little in the heat.

But McDonald should have given Tony Mowbray's Boro the advantage with 20 minutes to go. With it seemingly easier to score, the Scotsman contrived to fire wide of Federici's goal.

It was an isolated moment of action in an otherwise completely forgettable half-hour of football.

With 15 minutes left, referee Anthony Taylor waved away Le Fondre's claims for a penalty, turning down suggestions Julio Arca had handled in the box, while at the other end Thomson lashed an effort over the bar.

Emnes went within a matter of inches of clawing three points for Boro, but saw his header clip the outside of the post on 80 minutes, and Robson smashed against the woodwork again two minutes later as the away side put Reading under the cosh in the dying moments without finding a way through.

Football365 Facebook Fan Page

The Football365 fan page is a great place to meet like minded people, have football related discussions and make new friends.

Footer 365

Nemanja Matic says Chelsea happy to maintain their five-point Premier League lead

Midfielder Nemanja Matic was happy to take a point after Chelsea's 1-1 draw with Manchester City.

Roberto Martinez delighted with 'immense' Everton's 1-0 win at Crystal Palace

Roberto Martinez believes his side can now reach their true potential after ending their winless run at Crystal Palace.

Premier League: Chelsea maintain five-point lead after 1-1 draw with Manchester City

Chelsea remain five points clear at the top of the Premier League after a 1-1 draw with second-placed Manchester City.

Mail Box

'Costa Is A Bad Man. Suarez Is Not'

That's quite some claim. And yes, unfortunately we are still talking about this. We also have mails on Ronaldinho, possible replacements for Yaya Toure and more...

Red Mist Better Than Calculated Costa?

Hmmm. We're not sure about this argument - one Mailbox says Luis Suarez is easier to forgive because he is a little loco. We also have mails on Studge and more...

© 2015 Sky Ltd. All Rights Reserved A Sky Sports Digital Media company