Aston Villa 0 Charlton Athletic 0

Aston Villa's inability to string together back-to-back wins again cost them as they were frustrated by Charlton in an instantly forgotten Premiership encounter at Villa Park.

David O'Leary's patchedup side have failed to notch up successive victories for more than five months and that inconsistency is hindering their chances of securing a European spot.

Villa have won their last two away matches in impressive style at Newcastle and Southampton but have followed that up with disappointing draws against West Bromwich Albion and the Addicks on home soil.

Steve Davis did his best to drive them on from midfield with another all-action display from the Northern Ireland international while Mark Delaney impressed in defence as a makeshift centre-back.

But the number of clearcut chances could be counted on one hand, with neither set of forwards looking capable of finding a way through.

Charlton also have ambitions of sneaking into Europe and they will be content with a point after failing to win only one of the previous nine games.

They were well served in the centre of the park by the experienced Danny Murphy.

Juan Pablo Angel had an early opportunity for Villa when the ball broke kindly for him to the left of the Charlton area.

But the Colombian international failed to make proper contact with his low shot which flew harmlessly past the post.

The Addicks tried to retaliate and a cross from the left flank by Jonatan Johansson almost picked out Dennis Rommedahl, but Gareth Barry was alert to the situation.

It needed Thomas Hitzlsperger to briefly bring the crowd to life with a typically powerful long-range effort which was parried away by Charlton goalkeeper Dean Kiely.

Charlton striker Francis Jeffers became the first player to be yellow-carded after 18 minutes for dissent after disputing a free-kick award to Villa.

Kiely then just managed to cling on to a low cross from Angel when under pressure from Carlton Cole after good play by Lee Hendrie.

Villa defender Ulises de la Cruz made a rare sortie forward and managed to get his left-footed effort on target but Kiely had his body comfortably behind the ball.

Cole, who spent last season on loan at Charlton, then showed his potential with a fine turn of pace that took him clear of the visitors' defence on the left.

He delivered a teasing ball across the penalty area and Angel at full stretch only failed by inches to connect.

Charlton found themselves in a three-against-three situation when they counterattacked after a good break by Danny Murphy but once again the finish - this time by the former Everton and Arsenal striker Jeffers - left a lot to be desired.

Davis continued in the same impressive vein as the first half with a fine tackle to halt Hughes in his tracks just outside the Villa area.

Then Gareth Barry came as close as anyone to relieving the tedium in the 53rd minute after controlling a long crossfield ball from Hendrie.

The former England Under-21 captain cut inside and his curling right-footed shot was only a foot or so off target.

But in the 61st minute the visitors needed a goal-line clearance from Murphy to prevent Solano from giving Villa the lead.

The Peru international played a short corner to Barry and, after accepting the return pass, unleashed a drive to the far post which was headed on to the bar by Murphy.

Charlton's best chance fell to Hermann Hreidarsson 60 seconds later when he glanced his header past the post from Murphy's corner.

Hitzlsperger, who will leave Villa Park in the summer to return to Germany, nearly snatched victory for the home side when he fired just wide after meeting a cross from De la Cruz.

ASTON VILLA (4-4-2): Sorensen, De la Cruz, Delaney, Samuel, Barry, Solano, Hendrie (Vassell, 72), Davis, Hitzlsperger, Angel, Cole. Subs: Postma (gk), Djemba-Djemba, Berson, L Moore CHARLTON ATHLETIC (4-4-2): Kiely, Kishishev, Fortune, El Karkouri, Hreidarsson, Johansson, Hughes, Murphy, Holland, Rommedahl (Euell, 76), Jeffers. Subs: Perry, Euell, Thomas, Andersen, Fuller.

Bookings: Jeffers (dissent) Referee: B Knight (Kent) Attendance: 31,312.

Villa man of the match: Nolberto Solano - proved most threatening for Villa on a night of few chances.