It’s all square at Oakwell with missed chances for both the Reds and Bradford the story of the half.
Bradford produced the first effort on goal after five minutes as Paul Anderson volleyed at goal from the edge of the box with Adam Davies producing a top draw save to keep him out.
The Tykes struck the woodwork on 12 minutes as Marley Watkins latched onto Sam Winnall’s header but was unlucky not to convert from a tight angle.
Davies was untroubled by Lee Evans’ bending effort on 17 minutes while Alfie Mawson looped a header narrowly over the crossbar.
On 22 minutes, Anderson shot straight into the gloves of Davies but the Barnsley stopper produced a world class save two minutes later to deny McArdle scoring an overhead kick.
Chances dried up until two minutes before the break as Evans tried an ambitious 50-yard lob that drifted well wide of Davies’s goal.
Winnall danced in from the left and hit a curling low effort but Ben Williams just managed to push it away before Ben Pearson hit a rasping 25-yard strike that Williams scrambled to safety.
Reds: Davies, Wabara, Roberts, Mawson, Nyatanga, Pearson, Watkins, Scowen, Hourihane, Crowley, Winnall
Subs: Walton, Rothwell, Bree, Digby, Wilkinson, Smith, Harris.
Bradford: Williams, Darby, McArdle, Burke, Meredith, Anderson, Liddle, Evans, Marshall, Davies, Hanson.
Subs: Jones, Clarke, Morris, Knott, Mottley-Henry, James, Sheehan