Cardiff City 1 (Lawrence 69)
All possession but no edge to the Reds, a second half to the season just about summed up in 90 minutes against a Cardiff side who probably weren't even at the races.
Liam Lawrence's tame header was the difference on a bitterly cold afternoon that saw Keith Hill's side act like a toothless bulldog.
A half chance for Cardiff came thanks to a goal-line but Button gathered on 13 minutes in what was an uneventful opening the a cold afternoon.
A fantastic turn and taken down from a looping O'Brien clearance by Nouble allowed the striker to find Tonge but his effort drifted wide of the left-hand post from 20 yards.
The Reds were coming on strong and O'Brien was unlucky to see his cross blocked after a spell of possession in the Cardiff half.
O'Brien sent in Nouble who got the better of McNaughton but his shot came from his weaker side and could only fire straight at Marshall from inside the area on 25 minutes.
A half clearance from Foster fell into the path of Gunnarsson on 35 minutes but Button gathered via a deflection. Immediately at the other end, the busy Nouble won a corner after a decent run in on goal.
The Reds were enjoying plenty of possession in the Cardiff half and simply needed a break on goal. Tonge was pulling the strings in the middle operating just behind Nouble up top.
After 40 seconds of the second half, Cowie should have opened the scoring when he went in on Button but the 'keeper smartly denied the midfielder. Moments later, Nouble floated a header just wide after a fantastic, hanging cross from O'Brien down the right.
The game was stretching and the Reds almost got in again but for a smart stop from Marshall, O'Brien delivering powerfully from the right after Wiseman picked up on Doyle's square ball. The Reds were flowing forward but just needed some luck or a stroke of magic.
Barnsley were dominating. Working hard, closing down when they didn't have the ball - which was becoming increasingly rarer as the game wore on. But Cardiff were almost in when Kenny Miller turned Foster and certainly had the quality to explode into life at any time.
As football goes, the goal comes against the run of play. With over 21 left to play, Taylor delivered for Lawrence to nod into the far corner unmarked.
And that was that. Barnsley couldn't find a way back as they tasted defeat once more at home.
Barnsley: Button, Wiseman, Foster, McNulty, Collins, Doyle, Perkins, O'Brien, Tonge (Gray 76), Nouble (Davies 76), Noble-Lazarus (Cotterill 54).
Subs: Dawson, Higginbotham.
Cardiff City: Marshall, McNaughton, Taylor, Hudson, Whittingham, Cowie (McPhail 56), Miller, Lawrence, Gunnarsson (Blake 82), Mason, Turner.
Subs: Heaton, Earnshaw, Harris.
Attendance: 9, 122 (678 away)