Peterborough Utd 3 (Angol 24, Addison 61, Maddison 74)
Reds 2 (Hourihane pen 38, Winnall 77, Long s/o 82)
A brave and bright performance in Peterborough saw Barnsley come close to a deserved point but a last-gasp wonder-save from Ben Alnwick denied the ten-man Reds a well-earned share of the spoils.
With Aidan White out due to concussion, the Reds suffered two more blows as Kevin Long saw red for a lunge on Harry Beautyman and Lloyd Isgrove limped off through injury as this end-to-end five-goal thriller went in favour of the home side.
With just over five minutes on the watch, the home side showed why they were one of the best attacking sides in the league as a sweeping move split the Reds open down the right but Angol steered wide from 12 yards.
At the other end Marley Watkins flashed a header just wide of Ben Alnwick's right-hand post after a terrific run and cross from Isgrove down the right-hand flank.
The Reds were enjoying decent spells on the ball and looking more than capable of creating in the final third. A cross from Isgrove again on the 16th minute saw a knockdown from Toney fall for Hourihane, but his right-footed attempt from 20-yards was blocked.
Lee Angol broke the deadlock on 24 minutes after Jon Taylor drifted inside and fed the striker in the box - a scruffy hit after turning Smith in the box evaded Davies for 1-0.
Barnsley responded well with Hourihane again having a shot blocked, but from the resulting corner the home side raced up the other end seeing Taylor drag wide after a lightning counter on the half-hour mark.
On 37 minutes Marley Watkins left Miles Addison in his wake as he burst into the box, prompting the former Tykes loanee to bring him down in the box before he got a shot away. The referee showed Addison a yellow card and Conor Hourihane took responsibility from the spot - making made no mistake to Alnwick's left.
Just after two minutes of stoppage time was showed, Adam Hammill carried the ball forward and a decent advantage was played after he was dragged back by Bostwick, allowing Isgrove a shot at goal. The Southampton loanee did well as he turned back inside onto his left but hammered into the back of Anderson in the area.
A bright start to the second period from Barnsley saw Marley Watkins register the first shot two minutes in but his volley drifted wide of the post.
The Reds had the ball in the net on 50 minutes as Alfie Mawson nodded Adam Hammill's free-kick home but the referee's assistant on the far side lifted his flag for an apparent offside.
A sustained period of pressure from Barnsley surrounded an injury to Conor Hourihane after a heavy challenge but, thankfully, the Irishman rose to his feet after treatment.
Sam Winnall was introduced after yet another injury for Lee Johnson, this time Lloyd Isgrove trudged with an hour played.
The home side's first sniff of goal in the second period came on 61 minutes and it resulted in a goal. An out-swinging corner was tamely headed into the turf by Addison with Davies stranded and the ball sailed over the head of the 'keeper.
A smartly worked free-kick by Hammill allowed George Smith a pop at goal on 66 minutes but Anderson threw his body on the line before it could cause Alnwick any problems.
Bostwick's deflected strike forced Davies into a very good stop at his near post as the Barnsley 'keeper saw it late and did well to turn the ball away for a corner on 69 minutes.
Another deflected strike this time evaded the grasp of Adam Davies and made it 3-1 to Peterborough. The substitute this time, Maddison, cracked in a shot from the edge of the box from a short corner with 74 gone.
It should have been 3-2 on 75 minutes with Adam Hammill going so close with a curling effort that shaved the outside of the post.
Barnsley's luck seemed to be out on 77 minutes when they hit the bar twice but, at the third attempt, Sam Winnall smashed in. First Addison headed Hammill's cross onto the bar, Watkins headed the rebound onto the bar once more but Winnall did the business as he finished off from eight yards.
Peterborough were still in shock as from the restart Barnsley came straight at them once more with substitute Jackson charging at goal but hammered into the legs of Taylor.
With only eight minutes to play, chances of a Barnsley comeback were virtually diminished when Kevin Long saw red for a tough tackle on Beautyman. Substitute Simeon Jackson was then sacrificed for Lewin Nyatanga.
When Ben Pearson picked up a half-clearance from Posh, his delivery found Sam Winnall in the box and the striker probably wasn't aware of just how much time and space he had as he nodded into the arms of Alnwick.
Davies then prevented a Peterborough fourth as yet another deflection seemed to be dipping in after Mawson blocked Angol, but Barnsley's number one tipped the ball onto the bar.
The brave Reds were still pushing for an equaliser and managed to force a few corners as they countered well in the closing stages.
Six minutes of added time was indicated by the Fourth Official and in the second minute of which, Posh hit the woodwork once more. Elder this time prodding onto the post with Davies scrambling across to his right.
Ben Alnwick then made an incredible stop in the fifth minute of stoppage time to deny Hammill and Barnsley a deserved equaliser before Watkins scooped over from the resulting corner.
The cheers at the final whistle from the home fans were more of relief than anything, as Barnsley once again came away empty handed having enjoyed more than their fair share of possession and chances - summed up by a man of the match award for one of Posh's busiest players, centre-half Michael Bostwick.
Peterborough: Alnwick, Smith, Taylor, Bostwick, Oztumer (Maddison 58), Washington (Coulibaly 67), J. Anderson, Angol, Elder, Forrester (Beautyman 76), Addison.
Subs: Henry, Fox, H. Anderson, Samuelson.
Reds: Davies. Bree, Smith, Long, Mawson, Hourihane, Pearson, Hammill, Watkins, Isgrove (Winnall 61), Toney (Jackson 76 (Nyatanga 84).
Subs: Townsend, Roberts, Wabara, M.Smith.
Referee: N. Kineseley.