BARNSLEY 2 (Foster 69) (Trippier 87)
DONCASTER ROVERS 2 (Euell 59, 74)
KIERAN TRIPPIER'S super free-kick rescued a point late on for the Reds in a fast, furious and frantic South Yorkshire derby.
Marlon Harewood was replaced by youngster Reuben Noble-Lazarus for his full debut and the Academy's top scorer, Danny Rose, was named on the bench. Luke Steele started in goal despite suffering from an illness.
It was a rather pedestrian opening to the match with neither side giving too much away.
The opener almost came early on for the Reds with just over five minutes on the watch. Woods spilled the cross of Butterfield but Mellis couldn't force it home thanks to a last-ditch Donny tackle.
Ninety seconds later and Hayter tested Steele with a powerful header from the near post after a Rovers corner found the former Bournemouth man free in the area.
Hayter had the next chance of the match with a half-volley but blazed over following Coppinger's out-swinging corner on 13 minutes. Barely a minute later and it was Hayter with another attempt for the visitors. A long ball from Thomas eventually fell to the striker on the edge of the area but snatched his shot wide.
Immediately at the other end, Mellis flashed an attempt wide following a ricochet off Gray - the game was finally alive in the Oakwell sunshine.
Youngster Noble-Lazarus tried his shooting boots on 21 minutes but his 25-yard effort was always rising - nevertheless the 17-year-old was looking bright on his full début.
Just before the half-hour mark the Reds made a terrific move which resulted in Haynes going close. Mellis started with a great turn on the right, and Butterfield delivered for Haynes after a one-two with Hill, but the former Ipswich man couldn't hook his effort on target.
With 33 gone Doyle's low drive from 20-yards brought a smart save from Woods down to his right, resulting in a Reds corner. Barely 30 seconds later and Hill really should have broken the deadlock from six yards. The full-back sliced his volley wide of Woods' right-hand upright after Trippier's excellent delivery.
Rovers forced a succession of corner kicks before Luke Steele pulled off a world-class save from a close-range Thomas header.
Nathan Doyle found space once again on the edge of the area on 43 minutes before pulling the trigger but the former Hull City man's drive flew wide of Woods' right-hand post.
Moments later and the Reds forced a corner after Noble-Lazarus' 20-yard effort deflected over following Trippier's free-kick into the area.
Butterfield had the Rovers defence worried after a great run into the area but his cross was turned away by O'Connor just before Haynes had the chance to nod home.
One minute of added time came but neither side had managed to break the deadlock in an entertaining encounter.
Three minutes after the break and Andy Gray thought he had given the Reds the lead but was denied by the linesman's flag.
Hayter was by far Rovers' busiest player and almost opened the scoring 54 minutes in, somehow he was denied by Foster's excellent challenge only a handful of yards from goal.
Rovers were looking a lot more lively than in the first-half and forced a free-kick right on the edge of the box. After Coppinger's deflected effort came to nothing, Mason was suddenly found onside and squared for Euell to tap home from six yards for the opener.
Three minutes after the hour and Hassell was introduced for Mellis in order to allow Trippier to push on down the right-wing.
Butterfield found Noble-Lazarus with a splendid 50-yard ball but Woods smothered just as the youngster nipped in behind Hird.
The equaliser came ten minutes after the opener - Stephen Foster scrambled home from a corner in front of the Ponty End, nobody cared how it went in - it was 1-1.
During the Barnsley celebrations, Rovers 'keeper Gary Woods was replaced by Neil Sullivan.
Only four minutes later and Rovers were back in front out of absolutely nothing. Oster's cross was palmed into the path of Euell for probably the easiest goal of his career.
With 15 to go Noble-Lazarus was replaced by Jordan Clark out wide. Moments later and O'Connor was then booked for simulation, the full-back was right in front of Peter Walton when he tumbled near Trippier in the penalty area.
With ten minutes to go and Danny Rose was thrown on for his début - the youngster replaced Danny Haynes up-front.
On 87 minutes Kieran Trippier raised the roof with a superb 25-yard free-kick that found Sullivan's top left-hand corner for the equaliser. It was another expertly dispatched free-kick for only his second professional goal.
Four minutes were added by the fourth official and, two minutes into that, Hayter curled wide after Coppinger chested into the path of the forward.
It was an incredible match at Oakwell with Rovers coming on strong in the second period, but a draw was just about the right result.
BARNSLEY: Steele, Hill, Trippier, Shackell, Foster, Doyle, Butterfield, Mellis (Hassell 63), Noble-Lazarus (Clark 75), Haynes (Rose 80), Gray.
Subs: Preece, O'Brien, Clark, McEveley, Arismendi.
DONCASTER ROVERS: Woods (Woods 69), Thomas, Friend, Coppinger, Euell, Gillett, Oster, O'Connor, Hayter, Mason (Wilson 88), Hird.
Subs: Wilson, Shiels, Souza, Moussa, Kilgallon.
Referee: P Walton
Assistant Referees: A Madley & M McDonough
Fourth Official: M Naylor
Attendance: 12,418 (1,854 away supporters)