Troubled Reading gained the welcome boost of a precious point with a goalless League One draw against fellow strugglers Burton.

Reading – who were deducted four points this season for various financial breaches – dominated for most of a scrappy contest as Burton were grateful to goalkeeper Max Crocombe for a series of fine saves.

For the second home game running, Reading fans staged a protest against controversial Chinese owner Dai Yongge by throwing tennis balls on to the pitch in the 16th minute.

After a 10-minute delay, during which the players returned to the dressing-rooms, referee Sam Purkiss restarted the game.

In a poor first period – before and after the enforced break – neither side were able to create any clear-cut openings.

Joe Powell blazed the ball well off target for Burton early on while, for the hosts, Charlie Savage curled a long-range effort narrowly over.

Femi Azeez went closer with a firmly-struck attempt in first-half stoppage time but the ball was smartly saved by Crocombe.

Reading were comfortably superior after the interval, with Crocombe forced into action to save a thunderous shot from Kelvin Ehibhatiomhan.

And as the hosts desperately sought a late winner, Crocombe made a superb double stop to first deny Ehibhatiomhan and then Azeez on the follow-up.