Everton Under-21s rounded off their regular season campaign with a third successive 0-0 draw.
The scoreline didn't tell the story of the match with both sides hitting the woodwork as the Toffees extended their unbeaten run to 15 games.
After completing their league schedule they will play off against Newcastle or Bolton as they bid to reach the final four.
In this contest the home side were the better outfit in the first half with Jack Grealish hitting the post 11 minutes in and Daniel Johnson slashing wide soon after.
Everton saw little of the ball and were only sporadically able to create chances. Apostolos Vellios miscued one early on with youngster Joe Williams sending another over midway through the half.
Rookie keeper Russell Griffiths kept Everton in it just before the break when he acrobatically tipped Gary Gardner's drive over the bar.
After half time it was a different story with the Blues showing much more enterprise and carving out a succession of chances.
Central midfielders Williams and Ryan Ledson
may still be at school but they began to exert more authority in the middle of the park.
And the raw but powerful Courtney Duffus also stepped up, leaving a series of Villa defenders in his wake only to shoot over three minutes into the second half.
Sub George Green then skimmed the outside of the post after a rampaging run from Luke Garbutt
On the hour Duffus saw a potent drive tipped onto the bar after some impressive work with his back to goal of the type often exhibited by Victor Anichebe.
The corner wasn't sufficiently well dealt with and Williams was presented with a chance which he fired against the inside of the post.
Things opened up after that and Jerrell Sellers and Johnson went close for Villa with Gethin Jones wasteful for the Toffees.
The final stages brought one more chance for each side with Johnson again sending a shot wide before Duffy's towering header was palmed away in added time.