Reds 0 Wigan 2
Wigan 2 (Kellett 18, Wildschut 87)
Barnsley will spend Christmas in the relegation zone after slipping to a 2-0 defeat at home to Wigan Athletic.
Sam Winnall’s close range header was the closest the Reds came to a breakthrough in the opening exchanges before Andy Kellett countered to bend in the opener.
Substitute Yanic Wildschut grabbed a second for the visitors four minutes from time after rounding Adam Davies to slot home the decisive second.
Ryan Wiliams thought he had grabbed a late consolation after slotting home moments later, but the offside flag denied the Reds a late consolation.
The Reds forced a corner inside the opening minute and after Wigan briefly cleared their lines, Latics defender Craig Morgan’s header almost looped over Jussi Jaaskelainen.
Jason Pearce was cautioned for a foul on Adam Hammill and Conor Hourihane bent the resulting effort wide, before Ivan Toney’s clever flick was diverted behind by Pearce.
Oakwell debutant Kevin Long was unable to head the chance home while Will Grigg’s sixth minute cross was smartly saved by Adam Davies.
Eighteen minutes in, Hammill darted down the left-hand side but his teasing cross has headed inches over by Sam Winnall.
Wigan immediately countered and Michael Jacobs’ incisive through ball was bent home by Andy Kellett, giving the Latics the early lead.
The Reds had a chance to level on 25 minutes as Hourihane’s long ball forward was headed on by Toney but Marley Watkins scuffed the effort from close range.
Both sides continued to exchange possession until Hammill whipped in a dangerous cross which Watkins was unable to glance home.
The Reds went back on the offensive at the start of the second half with Hourihane blazing an effort just past the post while Max Power chipped just wide on 51 minutes for Wigan.
Just before the hour mark, Donervon Daniels clattered Aidy White in full flight, resulting in a booking for the defender.
Wigan cleared their lines quickly and despite Kellett appearing a few yards offside, his effort from Jacobs’ through ball was superbly turned behind by Davies.
On 66 minutes, Winnall saw the ball fall his way in the area but as he spun, the striker scuffed his effort and Jaaskelainen gathered.
With 15 minutes to go, Ben Pearson blazed wide from the edge of the area before substitute Ryan Williams found Winnall but a last gasp challenge prevented the striker pulling the trigger.
Four minutes from time, substitute Yanic Wildschut capitalised on static defending to round Davies and slot home Wigan’s second.
Williams thought he had pulled a goal back two minutes from the end as he slotted home from just inside the area, only for an offside flag to deny the Reds a consolation.
Hourihane’s late free kick flashed just over the top as 8,866 fans saw the Reds remain in the relegation zone over Christmas.
Reds: Davies, Wabara, Long, Nyatanga, A. White, Watkins (R. Williams, 66’ ), Pearson, Hourihane, Hammill, Winnall, Toney (Jackson, 75’ ).
Subs: Townsend, Mawson, Isgrove, Bree, Jackson, Abbott.
Wigan: Jaaskelainen, Love (Chow, 76’ ), Morgan, Pearce, Daniels, Kellett (Goal, 18’ (Revell, 62’ ) ), James, Perkins, Power, Jacobs, Grigg (Wildschut, 84’, Goal, 86’ ).
Subs: Nicholls, Barnett, Davies, Hiwula.
Referee: S. Stockbridge.