BLACKBURN Rovers played out a lifeless draw at the Madejski Stadium as their Championship fixture at Reading ended 0-0.

The home side had marginally the better of the match but created few chances on an afternoon that had a real end of season feel to it.

Ben Marshall cleared Hope Akpan's header off the line in injury time and Rovers defended well despite going into the game with only one recognised centre back, with Tommy Spurr filling in well in the centre of defence.

Reading had the better of the opening stages and most of their opportunities were coming from crosses. Defender Alex Pearce headed over from Garath McCleary's early corner before Jamie Mackie's low centre set up Hal Robson-Kanu.

The Welshman forced a good save from Simon Eastwood, who had retained his place in the Rovers line-up ahead of Jason Steele.

Mackie then sent a back post header on to the roof of the net from another McCleary cross as Rovers struggled to get any attacking momentum.

Reading's early promise tailed off too as the game drifted into a typical end of season encounter between two sides who cannot go up or down.

The impressive Matt Kilgallon blocked from Jem Karacan before Spurr prevented Pavel Pogrebnyak turning in from close range.

Rovers made a brighter start to the second half and Chris Brown saw a header deflected wide before Marshall had a shot blocked.

But the second half soon petered out too, and Reading surprisingly left former Rovers striker Yakubu on the bench throughout the match.

The Royals though did come close to grabbing a late winner as substitute Akpan met a corner and headed the ball towards goal, only for Marshall to scramble off the line.

Rovers: Simon Eastwood; Adam Henley, Tommy Spurr, Matt Kilgallon, Markus Olsson; Tom Cairney (Paul Taylor 65), Jay Spearing, Lee Williamson, Ben Marshall; Jordan Rhodes, Chris Brown. Subs not used: Jason Steele, Yann Songo’o, Darragh Lenihan, Corry Evans, John O'Sullivan, Craig Conway.

Reading: Adam Federici; Chris Gunter, Michael Hector, Alex Pearce, Nathan Ake; Jem Karacan (Oliver Norwood 73), Nathaniel Chalobah, Hal Robson-Kanu; Jamie Mackie, Pavel Pogrebnyak (Kwesi Appiah 84), Garath McCleary (Hope Akpan 84). Subs not used: Mikkel Andersen, Jake Cooper, Nick Blackman, Yakubu.

Referee: Michael Bull.

Attendance: 17,564 (Rovers 646).