Stoke defender Ryan Shotton was controversially sent off in stoppage time in an instantly forgettable Barclays Premier League goalless draw at Aston Villa.
Shotton was given his marching orders by referee Roger East for a second bookable offence, but replays showed he made no contact on Villa substitute Fabian Delph. Villa striker Darren Bent made his return to action as the home side's youngsters stood up to the physical challenge presented by Stoke.
Bent made his first appearance for nearly six weeks midway through the second period, but was unable to inspire Villa to gain the three points. Paul Lambert's side were well worthy of a share of the spoils, though, as they extended their unbeaten run to four games and edged further away from the relegation zone.
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