Exeter secured an important away point as they held Oldham to a goalless draw.
Latics goalkeeper Alex Cisak produced two fine saves to stop efforts from Richard Duffy and Richard Logan in the first half.
Chris Taylor headed over for the hosts, while Tom Adeyemi fired just wide and James Wesolowski's shot was tipped over by Grecians keeper Artur Krysiak.
Krysiak then saved from both Robbie Simpson and Filipe Morais while Cisak denied Jake Taylor with his legs.
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Oldham Athletic manager Paul Dickov told BBC Radio Manchester:
"I thought we were the one team that were out there trying to win the game with the way they set up.
"Their goalkeeper's pulled off some good saves. We put a lot of pressure on them but it just wasn't to be.
"He's (James Tarkowski) a kid but when you put him out on a football pitch he plays like a man and command his defence."
Exeter City manager Paul Tisdale told Radio Devon:
"We had a bit of pressure to cope with, albeit we started really well. At half-time I really thought we were going to spend more time in their half than ours and I thought that would be the catalyst for some sustained pressure.
"It was a game for mistakes and was difficult to referee because the ball was never under control. It was a tough game and all I will say was that our chaps were particularly focused and applied themselves.
"On the whole we looked a very competent side, if not perfect. We certainly are competitive and another clean sheet - three in a row."