- Associated Press - Saturday, December 26, 2015

BIRMINGHAM, England (AP) - West Ham was held by last-place Aston Villa to a fifth straight draw in the English Premier League on Saturday.

West Ham has failed to win its last eight league matches since Oct. 31, six of them draws, and remains mired in mid-table.

Meanwhile, Villa was stuck on the bottom of the table, on eight points, nine from safety. It has to win half of its remaining 20 games to meet coach Remi Garde’s target of 10 victories to survive. Garde, in place for almost two months, has still to taste a win.

Aaron Cresswell scored West Ham’s first goal in 6 hours, 28 minutes, in first-half stoppage time. His 20-yard shot flew low past goalkeeper Brad Guzan.

Jordan Ayew rescued a deserved point for the more enterprising Villa from the penalty spot an hour in. Rudy Gestede was dragged down by Angelo Ogbonna inside the box, and Ayew nailed the spot kick.

Villa almost earned its first win since opening day when Alan Hutton’s header was nodded off the goal-line by James Collins with 15 minutes to go.

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