Leeds endured another stutter in their promotion campaign as they halted Reading's eight-game winning streak but failed to hit the target themselves.Keeper Alex McCarthy kept Reading in the game in the first half, saving well from Robert Snodgrass and Max Gradel.After the break, Leeds' Bradley Johnson rattled the bar and Mikele Leigertwood fired a shot off target for Reading.Gradel and Snodgrass tested McCarthy late on and Leeds' Sanchez Watt missed a great chance to win it at the death.The Yorkshire club had begun Good Friday in sixth place, the last of the play-off spots.But this Elland Road stalemate ensured they ended the day seventh, below play-off rivals Nottingham Forest - who beat Leicester 3-2 earlier in the day - on goal difference.Leeds just about edged the first half, having the two best chances, both of which were kept out by Reading's impressive keeper McCarthy.The first was a close-range header by Snodgrass, which McCarthy pushed wide, and the second was a swirling long-range shot by Gradel.
The England Under-21 keeper got enough of his body behind the ball to block the goalbound effort but will have been relieved to see it spin wide of the far post.Neil Kilkenny came on for Jake Livermore at the break and his introduction seemed to lift the whole Leeds team.They took the game to their visitors, forcing them onto the back foot whenever possible, harassing them and denying them time to think when they tried to go forward.Reading's Andy Griffin wasted a great chance when he cut in from the right and dummied Gradel, opening up space in the box, only to fire into the side netting when he would have been better off crossing.
Johnson then came closer than anyone else to finding the target when he ran from the half-way line and saw his shot off the outside of his boot rebound off the bar with McCarthy well beaten.
The longer the game wore on, the greater the tension emanating from the Leeds team became, and Reading responded by going on the attack with more confidence.
Leigertwood should have done better when he was allowed to bear down on goal unchallenged, but his shot was off target and could only rattle the back stanchion.
Reading have become known as the Championship's late goal specialists, but it was the home side who came closer to scoring.
As in the first half, it was Gradel and Snodgrass who tried their luck, but again the impressive McCarthy was equal to the task.
In stoppage time a rare McCarthy misjudgement allowed substitute Watt a great chance to snatch a winner, but the on-loan Arsenal player lost his footing and skewed the ball wide of the target.