STEVENAGE kept up their third round tradition by doing everything but score against woeful Reading.
Only visiting goalkeeper Anssi Jaakkola, making his second senior appearance for the Royals, prevented the Championship strugglers from going down to fourth-tier Stevenage.
The home side had won their last four ties at this stage of the competition and were close to making it five through second-half strikes by Joe Martin and Jack King.
Reading were awful for most of the first half yet could have gone into the break ahead.
Stevenage took the game to the visitors from the start and forced a number of corners without creating a really clear-cut chance.
The closest they came was a looping header by defender Ben Wilmot which Anssi Jaakkola tipped over the cross bar and a cross-cum-shot by the impressive Ben Kennedy which was blocked.
INTERACTIVE STATS – CLICK on the categories to find out how the teams fared
Reading sprang into life only just before half-time and would have scored if home goalkeeper Tom King, making his debut after signing on loan from Millwall, had not kept out a close-range David Edwards effort following a corner.
Stevenage kept the pressure on, with Danny Newton shooting just wide and Joe Martin forcing Jaakkola into a good save with a free-kick.
The Reading ‘keeper then made an even better stop to keep out a volley by centre back Jack King.
The visitors offered little but it took a fine challenge by Wilmot to stop Mo Barrow getting a shot away.
INTERACTIVE STATS – CLICK on a player’s number below to see their stats
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