Frustrated Albion were held by West Ham at The Hawthorns as the Baggies halted their losing streak.
James Morrison hit the bar in the second half while Winston Reid and Joey O’Brien went close for the visitors in a forgettable game of few clear chances.
The Baggies were the better side for long spells in the second half but failed to break down the stubborn Hammers as they ended a run of three straight defeats and stay sixth in the Premier League.
Goran Popov and Billy Jones replaced the injured Liam Ridgewell, out with an ankle problem, and the absent Steven Reid.
Ben Foster failed to recover from groin surgery and Claudio Yacob was missing with a hamstring strain.
Albion began brightly with Reid hurriedly clearing Chris Brunt’s cross before Matt Taylor looped a header onto the roof of the hosts’ net after four minutes.
It was an even start though and Albion had to wait until the 15th minute to test Jussi Jaaskelainen when Peter Odemwingie shot at him from 25-yards.
Neither side was able to build any momentum with the game often played at a pedestrian pace although Morrison and Shane Long did fire wide from the edge of the area in quick succession just before the half hour.
Brunt then shot at Jaaskelainen from distance as the teams struggled to create anything meaningful.
But Reid had the chance of the half on 32 minutes when he stretched to reach James Collins’ knockdown and skied his six yard effort over.
Then the tenacious Cole won the ball from Youssouf Mulumbu and Boaz Myhill beat away his fierce 20-yard drive.
It livened up, briefly, a forgettable half but Albion cranked up the tempo immediately after the break.
Reid had already scrambled away from Long before he then struck his own bar when he challenged Morrison for Gareth McAuley’s knockdown.
The Hammers responded as Gary O’Neil curled just wide and Jaaskelainen parried Zoltan Gera’s drive before saving Long’s mishit follow-up on the hour.
It was a much-improved second half but were still few clear chances as the sides struggled to break each other down.
O’Brien guided Mark Noble’s free kick just over on 66 minutes but the Baggies were beginning to stretch the Hammers who had become ragged.
And they were almost ahead on 72 minutes when Morrison powered a header from Brunt’s corner onto the bar.
Albion were on top and Steve Clarke threw on Romelu Lukaku for Gera in search of the winner.
But it never came and Cole went closest to winning it in stoppage time when Myhill claimed his low volley.