Jose Angel Ziganda's side came into the game having conceded 11 goals and scored none.
That changed two minutes into the second half, though, when Argentinian midfielder Emiliano Armenteros had the honour of claiming Xerez's maiden goal in the top flight as he hacked in from close range.
Malaga dominated after that and equalised when Victor Obinna crashed home a stunning effort from outside the box with seven minutes left.
The Nigerian striker was sent off in the last minute for a second bookable offence.
Neither side came into the match in particularly good shape.
Despite their draw last weekend, Xerez were bottom with a solitary point to show for their efforts from five matches.
Malaga were slightly better off, but had lost their previous four games since the impressive 3-0 win at home to Atletico Madrid on the opening weekend.
That result had promised so much more, but Juan Ramon Lopez Muniz's side had been poor since then and almost found themselves behind tonight after nine minutes, when Xavi Torres fired just wide from the edge of the area.
And they had their goalkeeper, Gustavo Munua, to thank after 25 minutes when the Uruguayan produced a neat save to push an Armenteros drive around the post.
The home side were on top now, but the best chance of the half fell to Obinna, who blasted over the bar with just Xerez keeper Renan Brito to beat a minute before half-time.
Things quickly changed after the interval, though, as Xerez took the lead.
Malaga failed to clear from a corner and Armenteros drove into the net from close range and Xerez's fans finally had something to cheer about.
Unfortunately for them and their team, it was not to last.
Edinho missed two relatively simple chances to equalise, both with his head, as Malaga pressed.
Juanito also saw a header saved as the visitors continued to press for a leveller.
And just as it looked as if it may never arrive, Obinna unleashed an unstoppable drive from outside the box to halt the local celebrations and ensure the derby ended up on level terms.
Obinna was later sent off after receiving a second yellow card.
Although a man down, Malaga almost grabbed a dramatic late victory, but substitute Selim Benachour was just off target from long range and the game ended all square.
Neither side will be very happy with a point through, as they remain in the bottom three after six games.
Xerez are bottom, two places and two points below Malaga.