Reds 1 (Hammill 75)
Chesterfield 2 (Novak 57, Banks 81)
Barnsley’s play-off push suffered a setback after a 2-1 defeat at home to Chesterfield.
Lee Novak’s unexplainable miss should have put Chesterfield ahead just past the half hour while Sam Winnall and Adam Hammill both tested Tommy Lee at the end of the first period.
The visitors took the lead as Gboly Ariyibi’s centre found Lee Novak who steered the ball home before Adam Hammill levelled for the Reds with a vicious deflected strike.
Jamal Campbell-Ryce’s dismissal gave the Reds hope of a winner but Ollie Banks struck after good work from Ariyibi to seal all the points for the Spireites.
Marc Roberts, Sam Winnall and Josh Brownhill all had efforts cleared off the line in the final minute as the Reds’ search for a home win stretches to three games.
Conor Hourihane suffered a knock in the opening seconds but after receiving treatment, he returned to the action to the rapturous applause of the Oakwell faithful.
The Reds could have taken the lead after six minutes as Alfie Mawson pinged a delightful ball across the pitch for Lloyd Isgrove who was denied by the onrushing Tommy Lee.
More excellent running from Isgrove saw Barnsley win the first corner of the game 11 minutes in. Lee made a hash of Hourihane’s delivery but Josh Brownhill’s looping header was cleared off the line by Drew Talbot.
Chesterfield produced their first meaningful attack of the game after 24 minutes as a snap shot from winger Gboly Ariyibi flashed just past Adam Davies’ far post.
Barnsley spent part of the match with 10 men after Marc Roberts received treatment for a nasty cut following a clash of heads in the area.
And just past the half hour, Chesterfield should have made it 1-0 following a swift break.
Ariyibi darted clear down the wing and drilled the ball back for Lee Novak but with the goal at his mercy he inexplicably failed to score, or even hit the target as his effort went backwards from six yards out.
Davies was forced to produce a fine save to deny full back Charlie Raglan heading home while Sam Winnall failed to break the deadlock four minutes before half time.
Adam Hammill’s stunning delivery almost edged Barnsley ahead in the final moments of the half, his inviting ball in evaded Isgrove’s late run and forced Lee into another fine save.
The Reds began the second-half by putting together a fine flowing move that culminated with Fletcher slipping in Hammill but the latter was blocked as he went to shoot.
Winnall felt the Reds should have had a penalty after 53 minutes when he attempted clip forward appeared to strike the arm of Sam Hird but the Spireites edged ahead shortly after this scare.
Ariyibi created a yard of space on the left-hand side and his cross nicked off James Bree before dropping kindly for Novak to head beyond Davies.
Barnsley could have drawn level on the hour mark as Isgrove again split open the Chesterfield defence but his deflected effort cannoned back into play off the post.
Just past the hour, a delightful cross-field pass from Hammill was turned goalwards by Winnall but another top drawer save from Lee prevented him levelling the contest.
The visiting glovesman was at it again to deny Winnall minutes later as the striker let fly from the edge of the area but his arrowed effort was tipped away by Lee.
Lee was booked for timewasting while substitute Ivan Toney raced onto Josh Brownhill’s perfect through ball but blasted straight at the stopper in the 70th minute.
Two minutes later and Mawson firmly met a Roberts long throw but failed to direct his header on target before the Reds eventually got a slice of luck.
A fast break from inside their own half, led by Hammill, saw the winger unleash a rasping drive from the edge of the box that looped past Lee’s despairing dive and into the corner of the goal.
Things went from bad to worse for the visitors, who lost winger Jamal Campbell-Ryce seconds later after picking up his second booking in a matter of moments.
After receiving his first booking for kicking the ball away, a late challenge on Aidan White saw the midfielder dismissed with just over 10 minutes to play.
Chesterfield did not let their man disadvantage hold them back and regained the lead as Ariyibi skipped away from Bree and Marley Watkins and teed up Ollie Banks to put Danny Wilson’s side back in command.
Roberts, Winnall and Brownhill all came close to equalising in the final moments of normal time but saw their respective efforts cleared off the line by a combination of Lee, Drew Talbot and Novak.
The Reds failed to follow up their Wembley success as luck wasn't on their side in-front of 10,645 fans and are now six points off the play-off places.
Reds: Davies, Bree, Roberts, Mawson, A. White (Chapman, 90’ ), Isgrove (Watkins, 63’ ), Brownhill, Hourihane, Hammill, Winnall, Fletcher (Toney, 63’ ).
Subs: Townsend, Nyatanga, Scowen, G. Williams.
Chesterfield: Lee, Raglan, Hird, Anderson, Talbot, Campbell-Ryce, Banks, Liddle, Ariyibi, O’Shea, Novak (Slew, 90+4’ ).
Subs: Chapman, Herd, Ebanks-Blake, Dimiao, Donohue, Orrell.
Referee: Neil Swarbrick
Attendance: 10,645 (1,027 Chesterfield)