Football: Goalless draw for basement club Villa against West Brom

WEST BROMWICH, United Kingdom (AFP) - Aston Villa's modest recovery continued with a goalless draw away to Midlands rivals West Bromwich Albion on Saturday.

The point extended Villa's unbeaten run to five matches across all competitions, but they remained bottom of the Premier League, six points adrift of second-bottom Sunderland.

Villa were unhappy at being denied a first-half penalty when Jordan Ayew was brought down by Jonas Olsson.

For the fourth time this season the Baggies failed to register an attempt on target.

Not even forward Saido Berahino, the match-winner in the reverse fixture, could rouse the Baggies in what may prove to be his final league game for the club if he makes a January transfer window move.

Goalkeeper Ben Foster made his first Premier League start since March following a knee injury and he made an important first-half save to deny Ayew.

Later, Ayew was somewhat less than convinced he deserved a penalty, despite Olsson's poor challenge.

With the match heading towards a stalemate, both managers made changes, with Baggies boss Tony Pulis calling Berahino off the bench and Villa's Remi Garde bringing on Rudy Gestede with 26 minutes left.

Gestede's afternoon lasted just 17 minutes because of a hamstring strain as Garde's wait for a first away win in English football continued.