Latics will probably reflect on two points dropped as they went close several times but were unable to find a way to goal against Carlisle.
Davis Keillor-Dunn was denied by the angle of post and bar in the first half before seeing an audacious shot from the centre circle touched wide on an afternoon that saw Keith Curle’s side create the clearer openings.
Although the hosts also had chances during an open game, the lack of guile from either side betrayed their respective positions near the foot of the Sky Bet League Two table.
Curle made three changes in personnel from the midweek defeat against Walsall with returns for Carl Piergianni and Hallam Hope, while Harry Vaughan was handed his second league start as the Head Coach also opted for a change of shape.
Despite their limited influence in the attacking third for much of a fractured first half, Latics left the field at the interval after two near misses.
Two minutes before the break, Keillor-Dunn found space just outside the Carlisle area and executed a superb curling effort which flew beyond the reach of goalkeeper Mark Howard, only for the ball to crash against the woodwork.
The rebound fell to Jamie Bowden, who was flagged offside as he rolled home the follow-up, but replays suggested the midfielder was behind the ball when Keillor-Dunn struck his initial effort.
Minutes later, Hope was played in at the far post as Latics pressed again, only for Howard to repel the former Carlisle striker, who was deployed on the right as Curle altered his formation.
Until then, the better moments had belonged to the hosts, Harrison McGahey called upon to make a crucial block from Brennan Dickenson’s first-time effort after a right-wing cross from Joe Riley.
Jayson Luetwiler also did well to turn aside an arching free-kick from Zach Clough, while Lewis Alessandra and Jordan Gibson also placed efforts off target.
Latics broke well midway through the half, Callum Whelan spotting the run of Harry Vaughan with a find pass from midfield, only for the youngster to fire the ball over.
If Keillor-Dunn’s first-half effort was special then his moment of improvisation in the second was almost something truly extraordinary.
Just after the hour, he received the ball inside the centre circle before sending a lofted shot towards goal as he spotted Howard off his line, only for the goalkeeper to recover and touch the ball aside.
Latics were responsible for periods of good pressure throughout the second period but were unable to find the cutting edge.
Bahamboula and Piergianni were unable to make the most of opportunities inside the box, the former also receiving a pass later in the half from Whelan after a surging counter-attack from the visitors saw them break three-on-three, but the Congo international placed his shot into the arms of Howard.
Whelan also went close, while Keillor-Dunn sent another curling effort just wide and although Carlisle applied late pressure of their own, it was Latics who will feel they deserved a greater reward.
Oldham Athletic: Leutwiler, Clarke, McGahey, Piergianni, Whelan (Bettache 87), Hope, Keillor-Dunn, Bowden, Bahamboula, Couto, Vaughan (Da Silva 62).
Subs not used: Danielewicz, Dearnley, Fage, Diarra, Edwards.
Carlisle United: Howard, Armer, McDonald, Riley, Guy, Alessandra (Young 55), Clough (Abrahams 77), Dickenson, Mellish (Charters 60), Whelan, Gibson.
Subs not used: Jensen, Devine, Feeney, Bell.
Referee: Benjamin Speedie.
Attendance: 4,274 (420 away)