Callum Paterson opened the scoring against the run of play before former Owl Lucas Joao equalised on the stroke of half-time.
The hosts played 60 minutes with 10 men due to a straight red card for Liam Shaw.
The Royals also felt that they had three clear penalty claims turned down in the final 45.
It finished goalless at the City Ground, making it four matches without scoring for the East Midlands-based side.
Ivorian Yakou Meite missed out on Wednesday but is expected to have recovered from a knock in order to play.
Scottish defender Scott McKenna missed the game against the Hornets, but is expected to be back in contention to play at the Madejski Stadium.
Reading possible starting lineup:
Rafael; Holmes, Morrison, Moore, Richards; Rinomhota, Laurent; Meite, Olise, Ejaria; Joao
Nottingham Forest possible starting lineup:
Samba; Christie, Worrall, Figueiredo, Ribeiro; Yates, Cafu; Knockaert, Arter, Lolley; Taylor
Ones to Watch
Portuguese striker Joao remains in red-hot form having scored 10 league goals across the season so far, his most in his five years playing in the Championship.
Similarly, midfielder Ryan Yates is proving vital, providing assists for nearly a quarter of their goals.
Both games last season finished 1-1, and in both games, the goals came inside the final 10 minutes.
At the Madejski, Ben Watson scored in the 96th minute, only for Tobias Figueiredo to net an own goal seconds later.
With the recent news of Reading being placed into tier two of Covid-19 restrictions, 2,000 Royals fans will be able to witness their team at home for the first time in 10 months.
Serbian Paunovic cannot wait to get his first glimpse of supporters back at grounds.
"I want it to be emotional, I want it to be exciting, I want it to be memorable.
"I want to prepare the team to deliver on the field and connect with the fans also."
Similarly, Hughton is happy to see supporters back at matches but is unsure on the impact it may have on his side's performance.
"It means something, for us it is the positives and the negatives. We would have rather have been playing in front of crowds at The City Ground last Wednesday, that is what we would have preferred to have been doing.
“But we have to accept that it is a positive. What we do hope is that, around the most important thing which is the safety issues, it goes on to be a bigger percentage of supporters and for us, here, it is very much about the opportunity to get as many supporters in at The City Ground as quickly as possible and we hope that can happen.
“We don’t know how the players will be affected by it, we don’t know the answer. I would prefer if it was a level playing field, with the same as what you are going get at Reading to what we can have here at The City Ground.”
How to Watch
The game is live on Sky Sports Football from midday and is therefore unavailable on iFollow.