Jonny Smith’s fifth league goal of the season cancelled out Bryon Webster’s 25th minute header, as Latics were held at home by Carlisle.
New signing Danny Rowe was handed his Latics’ debut in one of three changes from Tuesday evening’s draw at Stevenage, with Zeus de la Paz and Mohamed Maouche also coming into the side.
A lively start saw debutant Rowe immediately involved down the right-hand side. The ball broke to Christian N’Guessan outside the box, but his effort was charged down. Moments later, Rowe was again in the thick of the action. His neat footwork created an opening on the edge of the penalty area, but his strike flashed wide.
Seven minutes in, Desire Segbe Azankpo had the ball in the back of the net, slotting home after Mohamed Maouche’s delicate through ball. However, just as it had twice at Stevenage on Tuesday evening, the assistant referee’s flag denied the striker his fifth league goal of the season.
Former Latics’ loanee Adam Collin was the first keeper to be called into action in the 10th minute, palming Christopher Missilou’s near-post effort wide after he was played in by a disguised Maouche pass.
Collin was forced into another save six minutes later, the Carlisle keeper pushing Maouche’s long-range effort out for a corner.
Latics continued to push for the opener. Zak Mills broke down the left-hand side and found Azankpo, who picked out Missilou. However, the midfielder’s shot was sent high over the crossbar.
Despite Latics dominance in the opening 25 minutes, it was Carlisle who took the lead. Nathan Thomas’ floated cross found Bryon Webster, who planted his header into the net.
Latics responded immediately and went in search of an equaliser. Carl Piergianni came close to opening his Latics’ account, but his brave header from a free-kick was wide.
Six minutes before half time, Harry McKirdy’s effort was comfortably held by de la Paz. Latics launched a counter-attack, and Jonny Smith sent a low cross just wide.
Latics’ pressure was eventually rewarded in the 42nd minute. Jonny Smith picked the ball up on the right flank, cut inside and sent a fizzing long-range effort past Collin in the Carlisle goal.
Latics almost snatched the lead on the stroke of half time. Scott Wilson’s low cross flashed across the face of goal, before deflecting goalwards off Maouche but Collin was on hand to claim the ball on the line.
The opening 45 finished all square. Latics had been comfortably the better side, but had failed to make the most of the many first-half opportunities created.
Three minutes into the second period, de la Paz was called into action. The Latics’ keeper did fantastically to tip a scorching Hallam Hope strike from distance round the post.
De la Paz made another good save 10 minutes later, blocking Nathan Thomas’ goal-bound shot with his feet.
Just past the hour mark, Thomas drifted past three Latics’ defenders and into the penalty area, before teeing up McKirdy. However, the Carlisle winger blazed his effort over.
On 65 minutes, a cleverly worked Carlisle free-kick found Stefan Scougall on the edge of Latics’ box. His shot forced de la Paz into a smart save. Two minutes later, Piergianni threw his body in front of Thomas’ strike inside the penalty area.
With a quarter of an hour remaining, Rowe was denied a debut goal by the face of Max Hunt. The Carlisle defender bravely blocked his sizzling strike from point-blank range.
As the game entered the final 10 minutes, Mohamed Sylla found fellow substitute Zach Dearnley after great work down the left-hand side, but the midfielder prodded the ball just wide.
Moments later, Collin got down quickly to hold Jonny Smith’s low effort from inside the penalty area. It was to be the final opportunity of the game, as the match finished all square and Latics recorded their third draw on the bounce.
Oldham Athletic 1-1 Carlisle United.
Attendance: 3977 (573 away).
Oldham Athletic Starting XI: De La Paz, Hamer, Wheater, Piergianni, Mills, Missilou (66’ Sylla), N’Guessan, Smith, Maouche, Azankpo (31’ Wilson, 72’ Dearnley).
Subs: Allen, Iacovitti, Wilson, Dearnley, Nepomuceno, Branger-Engone, Sylla.
Carlisle United Starting XI: Collin, Hayden, Thomas (89’ Loft), G. Jones, Hope, Scougall, McKirdy (86’ Charters), Watt (53’ Kayode), M. Jones, Webster, Hunt.
Subs: Gray, Iredale, Charters, Kayode, Loft, Sagaf, Anderton.
Referee: Rob Lewis.