The Saddlers moved six points clear of the relegation zone with a hard-earned draw at fifth-bottom Oldham.
Dean Keates’ men started on the front foot and could have taken the lead inside five minutes.
The recalled George Dobson jinked his way into the box before teeing up Julien Ngoy but his side-footed effort was too close to Latics keeper Johny Placide.
The Stoke loanee had another decent chance on 13 minutes as he headed Kieron Morris’ cross over the bar when unmarked inside the six-yard box.
Duckens Nazon was looking dangerous for the home side and went close with an audacious overhead kick which nestled onto the roof of the net.
Athletic appeared to have adopted a shoot-on-sight policy, with Patrick McEleney, Nazon and Ousmane Fane each firing wide from distance in the opening 22 minutes.
After a slight lull in proceedings, the Saddlers broke the deadlock with 34 minutes on the clock.
Luke Leahy’s powerful header from Kieron Morris’ corner was turned onto the bar by Placide, with Jack Fitzwater reacting quickest to volley home the loose ball.
But Walsall’s lead lasted barely 11 minutes as Oldham levelled through the lively Nazon.
The Wolves loanee drove across the box, evading several challenges, before hitting a low right-footed shot which Liam Roberts got a glove to but couldn’t keep out.
The keeper made amends with a terrific one-handed save nine minutes after the break.
Nazon’s shot was inadvertently diverted towards his own goal by Fitzwater but Roberts, at full stretch, did superbly to claw the ball away.
The Latics were the dominant force in the second half and threatened again through the influential Nazon, whose rising 20-yard strike was palmed wide by Roberts.
Oldham continued to do most of the pressing, Eoin Doyle turning smartly in the box before shooting straight at a grateful Roberts.
The visitors offered little in the second half but could have retaken the lead late on when Placide made a smart stop to tip over Jon Guthrie’s header from George Dobson’s free-kick.
Walsall hearts were in mouths in added time as an Aaron Amadi-Holloway header from a corner was hacked off the line amid a desperate goalmouth scramble.
Team: L Roberts, Kinsella, Guthrie, Fitzwater, Leahy, Devlin, Chambers, Dobson, Morris, Bakayoko, Ngoy (Shaibu 68’).
Subs not used: Gillespie, K Roberts, Cuvelier, Flanagan, Kouhyar, Oztumer.
Attendance: 3,424 (237 Walsall supporters).