Bolton 1 (Beckford 44)
Barnsley had more than enough chances to claim a point at the very least from Bolton's Reebok stadium but squandered many chances, including a second-half penalty.
The Reds started fairly positively and fired in the first shot although Dawson's strike flew just over the bar from a rebounded corner.
On 15 minutes a Jennings corner was headed into Nyatanga's path by McLaughlin but his attempt was cleared from inside the six-yard box.
The hosts' first strike came on 17 minutes as Hall cut in from the right 20 yards out but he shot straight at Steele.
Barnsley should have taken the lead on 23 minutes after the ball was worked to McLaughlin in the area on the right and his pull-back was met by Jennings eight yards out but he shot over with the goal gaping.
Steele made a decent stop on 31 minutes from Beckford's volley but, again, it was straight at the Reds' goalie from eight yards.
Wanderers took the lead on 44 minutes through Jermain Beckford to give the home fans something to shout about. He rounded Steele after ghosting beyond the defence and tapped home.
Wanderers launched a counter attack just two minutes into the second half and went close through Moritz. Hutton piled forward and found Moritz at the second attempt but he was thwarted by Nyatanga.
O'Grady had half a chance to test Bogdan but the Hungarian only had to throw his cap on the striker's attempt after a cross dropped his way on 52 minutes.
It was almost two on 58 minutes but for a brilliant save from Steele to deny Beckford his second, and the rebound was fired wide by the former Leeds man after taking down a crossfield ball.
After good build-up down the left, Kennedy's cross was met by McLaughlin at the far post and he was only a yard away from finding the net.
The referee aved away strong Barnsley appeals for a pentaly on 70 minutes when O'Grady was put in but brought down by Mills.
With 17 minutes left Paddy McCourt came on for Tomaz Cywka.
Another glorious chance fell for McLaughlin on 76 minutes when Jennings' deep ball found the Liverpool loanee's brilliant run but he headed over another great opportunity.
Bogdan was forced into a low save at his near post by Jennings after he let fly from 35 yards. Barnsley needed something - a stroke of genius or slice of luck.
The Reds were presented a great chance to get back into it as Ryan McLaughlin drew a foul in the area from Baptiste. Chris O'Grady stepped up on 84 minutes but hit the outside of the post.
Nick Proschwitz replaced Liam Lawrence with two minutes of normal time left but it seemed the chance had gone for the Reds.
Four minutes of stoppage time was indicated by the fourth official but Barnsley couldn't find a way through.
Bolton: Bogdan, Hutton, Mills, Baptiste (Knight 86), Ream, Trotter, Spearing, Hall (Danns 74), Lee, Moritz (Jutkiewicz 78), Beckford.
Subs: Lonergan, Wheater, Kamara, Mason.
Reds: Steele, McLaughlin, Kennedy, Nyatanga, M'voto, Etuhu, Dawson, Lawrence (Proschwitz 89), Jennings, Cywka (McCourt 73), O'Grady.
Subs: Turner, Hunt, Mellis, Hassell, Cranie.
Referee: James Adcock.
Attendance: 15495 (837 Reds)