West Ham manager Sam Allardyce picked up a rare home point as his side fought out a battling but quality-starved 0-0 draw against Aston Villa.

It ended a dismal run of three straight home league defeats for the Hammers but the West Ham faithful must be wondering if there is a curse this season at Upton Park.

Villa striker Christian Benteke came closest to breaking the deadlock when his second-half header struck a post, but that would have been an injustice in a match during which West Ham proved just how much they are missing injured striker Andy Carroll.

The Hammers have now gone 375 minutes without a goal at Upton Park and have scored just eight goals in 10 league games.

Just after the hour mark Allardyce attempted to beef up the fire power, throwing on Joe Cole for Matt Jarvis and Carlton Cole for Jack Collision.

It brought a wave of West Ham attacks but Kevin Nolan squandered yet another chance when he stabbed his right-foot shot wide from eight yards.

But it was Villa who had the best chances, Benteke hitting a post with a header and then seeing a left-foot shot skew just wide after being deflected by a defender, although Joe Cole could have snatched it at the death if his shot had not been smothered by Villa 'keeper Brad Guzan.

In the end, however, the result was probably fair. Neither side did enough to merit the three points.