Hull’s Jon Toral saw his late first-half effort chalked off for kicking the ball out of Vito Mannone’s hands and Reading’s Liam Moore then forced Allan McGregor into a fine double save as both sides struggled to find the spark needed to win this contest.
Reading carved out the first real opening after seven minutes when they won a free-kick on the left which John Swift curled to the near post and McGregor got down low to his right to keep it out at the expense of a corner.
Jarrod Bowen did well to chase down an overhit cross after 14 minutes but Nouha Dicko could not connect to his low cross as Hull threatened for the first time.
Hull’s Seb Larsson then saw his free-kick deflected wide for a corner but Toral’s delivery from the right was headed away and Dicko fired a volley over as the home side started to get on top.
Reading were forced into a change after 25 minutes when Swift went off injured with former Hull forward Sone Aluko taking his place.
Moore had to head clear when Hull’s Fikayo Tomori rose at the back post to head a deep cross from fellow full-back Ola Aina towards goal.
Reading made a second enforced change on the half hour when former Hull defender Paul McShane was replaced by Tiago Ilori.
Hull thought they had taken the lead five minutes before the break but when Toral finished off after Mannone had saved one-handed from Bowen referee Darren England disallowed it for kicking the ball out of the keeper’s hands.
Toral should have done better early in the second half but he missed his kick from a tight angle.
Just before the hour Toral’s cross found Bowen unmarked at the far post but after taking a touch he shot straight at Mannone from a narrow angle.
McGregor made a fine double save Moore after 64 minutes. Moore’s initial header from an Aluko corner forced the keeper to get down to save before McGregor deflected the follow up over the bar.
Larsson curled a free-kick narrowly round the post and substitute Markus Henriksen saw his late shot blocked as Hull failed to find a winner their efforts perhaps deserved.
Colchester will hand late fitness tests to Ryan Jackson and Brandon Comley prior to their clash with Yeovil.
Arsenal secured their place in the quarter-finals of the Europa League following their 3-1 defeat of AC Milan at the Emirates Stadium on Thursday.
Danny Welbeck scored twice against AC Milan to toast his England recall by sending Arsenal into the last eight of the Europa League.
Ipswich striker Joe Garner will not play again this season after it emerged he suffered a fractured skull against Sheffield United last week.