Reading 0, Burnley 0

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It was an afternoon to forget for Clarets leading scorer Andre Gray as the striker failed to add to his tally against Reading at the Madejski Stadium.

The club's record signing squandered the opportunity to make it number 19 with just Ali Al Habsi to beat from the spot.

Andre Gray is dejected following his penalty miss

Andre Gray is dejected following his penalty miss

The Royals stopper was incensed when referee James Adcock brandished a yellow card for bringing down the £6m man, with the Oman international claiming that he'd made no contact.

However, the 34-year-old made amends as he sprawled to his left to push Gray's penalty kick to safety just before the hour mark.

But that only served to exacerbate an uncharacteristically profligate afternoon in Berkshire for the former Brentford forward.

With just minutes on the clock the 24-year-old somehow side-footed the ball over the bar from six-yards out when getting in-between Paul McShane and Jake Cooper to meet George Boyd's cross.

At the other end Tom Heaton saved superby from Yann Kermorgant, plunging to the foot of his right hand upright to deny the striker who had headed Hal Robson-Kanu's header goalwards.

Sean Dyche's side had been finding the net regularly of late, but they lacked a similar cutting edge in front of goal against the Royals.

Brian McDermott's men were opened up again, this time from Matt Lowton's pinpoint delivery, but Sam Vokes failed to connect convincingly and glanced his header well wide.

With chances few and far between the travelling supporters tried to channel memories of that special play-off semi-final second leg in 2009, chanting the names of Martin Paterson and Steven Thompson.

Boyd attempted to replicate those strikes in the 35th minute, finding space between the home side's banks from Vokes's flick on, but the winger's strike from 20 yards out cleared the bar.

After the interval the hosts went close to finding the breakthrough when McShane's header from Oliver Norwood's set-piece was blocked at the near post before the Burnley-born midfielder supplied another centre which Lucas Piazon flicked over.

Burnley could and should have taken the lead in the 53rd minute and only Gray will know how the ball failed to hit the back of the net.

Boyd, David Jones and Lowton worked a brilliantly incisive triangular on the angle of the area, the latter's exceptional cross grazed the head of Vokes before Gray touched the ball wide of the post from two yards out.

After Al Habsi pushed Jones's inswinging set-piece against the upright, the big turning point of the fixture arrived.

Scott Arfield's penetrative pass squirmed goal side of the last man, Gray took a touch to take the ball away from Al Habsi before going to ground and Adcock pointed to the spot.

Acts of petulance followed as Al Habsi hounded Gray while Robson-Kanu scuffed the penalty spot.

The outcome, following a lengthy wait, saw Al Habsi guess correctly as Gray stroked the ball to his right following a stuttered run up and Reading survived.

The home side almost snatched it when substitute Garath McCleary sparked the counter and fed Robson-Kanu but the winger fired over the angle left-footed.

It was a big two points dropped for the Clarets, with Hull City extending their advantage in the Championship table with a 2-0 win over Rovers at Ewood Park.