A lack of cutting edge up top saw Reading FC settle for a goalless draw with Birmingham in their final game of the Championship season.

Royals had golden chances to open the scoring in the first half through youngsters Danny Loader and Josh Barrett.

They continued to dominate throughout the second half and were rarely threatened by Garry Monk's Blues.

But despite several attempts, Reading were unable to break the deadlock and were forced to settle for a stalemate.

With Royals’ place in the second-tier already confirmed, Jose Gomes gave starts to young trio Josh Barrett, Michael Olise and Danny Loader.

Meanwhile, John O’Shea was given a place on the bench as he waved farewell to a glittering 20-year career in professional football.

The game got off to a fairly slow start with neither team having anything to play for, aside from personal pride.

Royals should have opened the scoring after nine minutes after Barrett scuffed a gilt-edged opportunity when Chris Gunter picked him out unmarked in the box.

Seventeen-year-old Olise then attempted two back heels following a well-worked corner routine but the Blues’ defence was alert to his trickery.

But Reading also switched off at the back and relied on a strong save from Emi Martinez when Che Adams darted into the box and got his shot away.

Danny Loader – who scored his first professional goal with a wonder strike against Middlesbrough last week – thought he’d opened his Madejski Stadium account after 20 minutes.

Gunter did brilliantly to get to the byline and tease a cross towards the 18-year-old starlet but Loader’s strike was somehow saved by veteran shot-stopper Lee Camp.

Olise sensationally skipped his way beyond two challenges before his left-footed strike was smartly pushed away for a corner by Camp.

The highly-regarded youngster then had a strong penalty claim turned down by referee Keith Stroud after Olise was shoved to the ground inside the area.

He continued to dictate the play and nearly started off a perfect team goal by releasing Gunter down the right after 39 minutes.

Gunter hit his cross first-time and low but the ball just trickled beyond Loader’s outstretched boot.

Reading nearly gifted Birmingham a goal seconds later when Andy Yiadom carelessly slipped the ball to Adams. Royals recovered quickly however and forced the eventual strike out for a corner.

Birmingham started the second period quickly and immediately had Royals on the back foot.

Ex-Brentford man Jota found himself inside the box with space after 46 minutes but he fired a tame shot straight at Arsenal-loanee Martinez.

England U-18 World Cup winner Loader had time and space to pick his spot when he charged towards goal on the hour-mark but he fired well wide of Camp’s post.

Skipper Liam Moore then went down hurt after he bravely charged down a powerful strike by Gary Gardener.

Royals upped their tempo and Barret’s deflected strike from the edge of the area clipped the crossbar on its way out for a corner.

Loader tried an audacious strike on the 69th minute and was desperately unlucky not to score as the fired narrowly over the target.

Reading continued to pile on the pressure but just could not unlock a resilient Birmingham defence.

A mix-up at the back nearly allowed substitute Mo Barrow through on goal with time running out but the striker could not quite react quickly enough.

Next, there was a slight pause in play while both teams formed a guard of honour as John O’Shea stepped onto the pitch in the 88th minute.

Barrow then tried an audacious overhead kick after he was picked out by Teddy Howe – son of CEO Nigel – but the Gambian’s strike flew over the crossbar in the dying seconds.

Reading FC: Martinez, Yiadom, Miazga, Moore (c), Gunter (O’Shea,88) , Rinomhota, Baker, Ejaria, Barrett (Howe,88), Olise (Barrow,70), Loader.

Subs not used: Walker, Baldock, McCleary, Ezatolahi.

Birmingham City FC: Camp, Colin, Harding, Roberts, Pedersen, Craig Gardner, Lakin (Davis, 73), Mrabti (Maghoma, 80), Jota, Adams, Vassell.

Subs not used: Weaver, Dacres-Cogley, Gary Gardner, Davis, Mahoney, Jutkiewicz.

Bookings: Harding (80),

Referee: Keith Stroud

Attendance: 17,247