READING FC secured their second successive Championship stalemate after a game of missed chances at Sheffield Wednesday.

Royals followed up their 0-0 draw with Aston Villa a week ago with another clean sheet at Hillsborough and another point towards their survival target.

But a lack of goals is becoming a real worry for manager Jose Gomes.

Reading have scored just five times in the last nine league matches and must quickly improve if they are to haul themselves away from relegation danger.

The unfortunate absence of on-loan Norwich City striker Nelson Oliveira with severe facial injuries today hardly helped the situation.

But Gomes’ men must start finding the back of the net or face the grim prospect of the drop.

However, the Portuguese manager will point to a vastly-improved defensive record as a solid foundation from which to progress.

This was Royals’ fourth clean sheet in eight games since Gomes took over the reins. But they have won just once in that time and remain in the bottom three after today’s results.

Gomes made three changes to his side as Sone Aluko, Garath McCleary and Mo Barrow all returned.

Aluko was the surprise choice to replace Oliveira up front, while Barrow came in for Callum Harriott out wide.

McCleary started in place of Ovie Ejaria who was missing with sickness and there was a return to the bench for Paul McShane and Liam Kelly, the latter having looked as though he could leave in January.

Royals were under the cosh from the off as Wednesday, searching for a third straight victory, crafted three shots on target in the opening six minutes.

The visitors needed a top save from Emiliano Martinez to prevent George Body from firing the home side in front with less than two minutes on the clock.

The on-loan Arsenal keeper then had to keep a close eye on a long-range effort from Adam Reach followed by a curling shot from Steven Fletcher.

Gomes’ men survived and Barrow eased the pressure by winning a free kick in a dangerous position, only for John Swift to strike Wednesday wall.

Owls tested Martinez for the fourth time soon after, but the Argentine was equal to Fernando Forestieri’s low drive.

Yet Royals responded and almost went ahead through an unlikely source.

They recycled the ball from a corner and Liam Moore met an Aluko cross with a fierce volley that drew a superb save from Owls stopper Keiren Westwood.

The lively start gradually became scrappier as neither side could retain possession for long.

Morgan Fox headed a Reach corner well over the Reading bar on 26 minutes, only for the visitors to hit back moments later.

Barrow picked out Baker near the edge of the area and the on-loan Chelsea midfielder’s first-time shot deflected off Jordan Thorniley and flew narrowly wide of the post.

Owls almost capitalised on a Fletcher handball that went unpunished, but the alert Swift cut out a dangerous Reach cross.

Then a neat first touch from Fletcher and powerful drive brought another quality save out of Martinez just after the half-hour mark.

Reach was also inches away on 36 minutes with a low drive having combined with Fletcher.

But Gomes’ men went down the other end and created an excellent chance to score themselves.

Barrow went clean through on goal, but Westwood forced the winger wide before scrambling back and spreading himself well to block the shot.

Yet Martinez came to his side’s rescue with an outstanding double save one minute before the break.

He showed outstanding reflexes to palm away a Sam Hutchison strike from close range then held on to Forestieri’s effort on the follow up.

Reading recovered at the break and flew out of the traps for the second half.

Aluko should have done better when set up Baker after a storming run by the midfielder, but he was quickly snuffed out by ex-Reading defender Michael Hector, as was Swift as he latched onto the loose ball.

McCleary missed the target by a foot with a shot from the top of the area and the increasingly influential Baker saw a deflected shot tipped over by Westwood.

Swift picked out Tyler Blackett from the resulting corner, but the defender got it horribly wrong and skied his shot miles over.

Nevertheless, it was encouraging stuff as chances continued to come.

Andy Yiadom found Baker with a fine cross, but the midfielder snatched at the chance and volleyed into the ground and wide.

Owls sub Rolando Aarons linked up with Forestieri soon after, but Reading just about cleared their lines.

More quick thinking from Westwood at the other end prevented Yakou Meite from netting shortly after coming on.

Reach dragged an effort wide from the edge of the Royals box as the game entered its closing stages and Owls looked to snatch a winner.

And it almost arrived two minutes into time added on when Liam Palmer pulled the ball back to Reach who could only scoop the ball over the bar from six yards.

Sadly, neither side could produce the necessary quality in the final which had been the story of the afternoon and most of Reading’s season.

Royals are back in action next Wednesday night when they host Blackburn Rovers at Madejski Stadium (8pm ko).

Sheffield Wednesday: Westwood, Palmer, Thorniley, Hector, Fox, Hutchinson, Boyd (Aarons 65), Bannan, Reach, Forestieri (Joao 75), Fletcher (Nuhiu 86). Subs not used: Dawson, Pulupessy, Iorfa, Lazaar.

Reading: Martinez, Yiadom, Miazga, Moore, Blackett, Rinomhota, Baker (Harriott 72), McCleary (Meite 60), Swift, Barrow, Aluko (Bodvarsson 79). Subs not used: Walker, Richards, Kelly, McShane.

Referee: John Brooks.

Attendance: 23,412.