Bolton 1 (Danns 64)
It could have been so different after shading the first half but a Neil Danns goal gave Bolton the Boxing Day victory at Oakwell. Andy Londergan was by far the busier of the two goalkeepers but it was an afternoon of frustration in front of goal for Danny Wilson's side.
Chris O'Grady registered the first shot of the match on five minutes but thumped just wide from the left-hand side of the box. The striker almost set Joe Mason away on eight minutes with a bad back-pass but, thankfully, Luke Steele was alert to clear the danger.
O'Grady himself took advantage of a short back-pass from McNaughton but Lonergan smothered O'Grady's prodded attempt on goal 11 minutes in.
Chris Eagles picked up the scraps of a cleared corner on 16 minutes but blasted the ball high into the stand from the edge of the area. At the other end O'Brien arrowed a long-distance drive straight at Lonergan after O'Grady and Dawson had sprung a counter for the Reds down the right.
Luke Steele was finally tested on the half-hour mark as Danns' low drive popped up awkwardly off the turf but the Reds' number one beat the ball away from danger.
With ten minutes of the first half left, Tom Kennedy's perfectly flighted corner was met by a thunderous header from Bobby Hassell but Andy Lonergan blocked well before Stephen Dawson flashed a drive just wide.
O'Brien went a lot closer with his second long-range attempt as he forced Lonergan into a smart save to his right after cracking at goal from 25 yards on 41 minutes.
Another good save was forced from Lonergan on 43 minutes as O'Grady suddenly let fly from the edge of the area, forcing the Bolton 'keeper to parry away.
Incredibly Bolton found the best chance of the match, having been second best in just about every department, but Darren Pratley couldn't squeeze the ball in from four yards as David Perkins cleared on the line.
Just after one minute of stoppage time was indicated, the Reds went so close to breaking the deadlock but once more Lonergan thwarted the hosts as he denied O'Brien. The rebound fell for Ramage but his effort was blocked on the line to mean the half-time score remained goalless.
Danns cracked a pot-shot wide from the left-hand side of the box after drifting in from the wing two minutes into the second half but Steele saw the ball past the post.
After Stephen Dawson picked up possession 20 yards inside his own half, he carried the ball all the way to the left-hand side of the area before unleashing a low shot at goal that Lonergan got down well to smother.
Two minutes before the hour Luke Steele marked his return to the side with an outstanding save to deny Zat Knight's powerful header which seemed destined for the roof of the net.
The visitors almost took full advantage of acres of space down the centre when Ream hammered a low drive at goal only for Steele to palm away to his left.
Freedman's side did take advantage of the space on 64 minutes when he cut inside the left-hand side of the box and curled an unstoppable shot into the top corner.
On 69 minutes it was time for Paddy McCourt to return from injury as he replaced Bobby Hassell.
Barnsley were building up a head of steam but the ball wouldn't drop inside the area as Scotland was put through only to get in a tangle and two crosses cleared from under the nose of O'Grady.
With five minutes of normal time left Danny Wilson threw the dice two more times with Pedersen and Cywka replacing Scotland and Perkins.
Four minutes of stoppage time was indicated as the Reds piled forward but couldn't find a breakthrough.
Barnsley: Steele, Hassell (McCourt 69), Ramage, Kennedy, Cranie (C), Wiseman, O’Brien, Perkins (Cywka 85), Dawson, Scotland (Pedersen 86), O’Grady
Subs: Dibble, M’voto, Pedersen, Nyatanga, Fox.
Bolton: Lonergan, Baptiste, Knight, Ream, McNaughton, Pratley (Lee 72), Spearing (c), Eagles (Kamara 81), M.Davies, Mason, Danns (Mills 87).
Subs: Lee-Barrett, Beckford, Hall, Moritz.
Referee: Andy Haines
Assistant Referes: Chris Akers & Matt McGrath
Fourth Official: Robert Atkin
Man of the match sponsored by Napoleon's: Jim O'Brien