Marc Wilson came agonisingly close to grabbing a winner for Stoke as they played out a goalless draw with midlands rivals Aston Villa at the Britannia Stadium.
With Peter Crouch and Darren Bent unable to make their returns from illness and injury respectively, both sides lacked attacking quality in the first half, although Villa did hit the woodwork through Emile Heskey, who was subsequently forced off at half-time.
There were chances at either end as the game opened up somewhat after the interval, and Wilson almost broke the deadlock in the 69th minute when his header - from Matthew Etherington's corner - struck the underside of the bar before being bundled away by Gabriel Agbonlahor, with replays suggesting the ball may have crossed the line.
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