All square at the break after early Latics opener
Lee Johnson named on-loan striker Jon Stead in the starting line-up to face Bristol City but it was his strike partner who took the early headlines with a superb opening goal for Latics.
After a fairly tentative opening to the match from both sides, Latics opened the scoring on 4 minutes through Danny Philliskirk.
GOAL 1-0: Philliskirk, latching onto a loose ball 30 yards out, took a couple of strides forward before launching an unstoppable effort beyond Simon Moore in the City goal.
The Robins earned the first corner of the game in their first real attack, James Wilson heading Wes Burns cross behind. From the resultant corner kick, the scores were level.
GOAL 1-1: Latics defence failed to clear the first ball in and central defender Aden Flint was on hand to head home past Mark Oxley to bring his side level.
The goal appeared to knock the confidence in Johnson's side as they concentrated on keeping the ball rather than push forward. City happy to let Latics keep the ball, without looking to attack themselves.
A swift counter from the visitors almost caught Latics rearguard out on 24 minutes, Sam Baldock's effort bouncing wide after neat play from Bobby Reid.
Latics launched a counter of their own three minutes later, David Worrall's deep cross headed wide by Stead, after good play from skipper Korey Smith in the middle of the park.
There was a hold up in play soon after as a stretcher was needed to take Robins' Marvin Elliott off the field. The stricken midfielder replaced by Wade Elliott after he appeared to land awkwardly following an aerial challenge.
Latics were looking for a penalty on 32 minutes after Smith's deep free kick appeared to be handled in the box by Derrick Williams, referee Deadman waving away appeals.
City were on the back foot again on 36 minutes as Gary Harkins header, from another Worrall cross, was cleared by goal scorer Flint.
Oxley was on his guard twice in quick succession on 38 minutes, firstly to punch clear from a City corner, then to save smartly to his right, tipping away an effort from Tyrone Barnett for another corner kick to the visitors.
Reid then wasted a chance to put his side ahead on 42 minutes, Barnett chasing a long ball whilst Latics waited for an offside flag, his cross blazed over by his team mate.
Adam Lockwood somehow missed a chance to put Latics back in front from two yards as the half time whistle approached. The big defender heading wide after a superb piece of play from Harkins had created the opening.
HT: Latics 1 (Philliskirk) Bristol City 1
Latics: Oxley, Brown, Grounds, Wilson, Lockwood, Wesolowski, Smith, Worrall, Harkins, Philliskirk, Stead.
Subs: Rachubka, Kusunga, MacDonald, Mellor, Clarke-Harris, Dayton, Kissock.