Reds 2 (Robert 10, Fletcher 60)
Coventry City 0
Barnsley remain unbeaten at Oakwell in 2016 after beating play-off rivals Coventry City 2-0.
Marc Roberts’ first goal since joining the club from Halifax Town in the summer put the Reds firmly in control 10 minutes in, nodding home Conor Hourihane’s corner.
Substitute Harry Chapman struck the crossbar on his home debut before Ashley Fletcher doubled the lead on the hour mark.
Harry Chapman's solo effort and a late Alfie Mawson header could not extend the lead further as the Reds moved to within goal difference of the play-offs.
Fletcher tested goalkeeper Reice Charles-Cook’s reflexes from close range inside the opening minute, meeting George Williams’ pinpoint cross but seeing his header tipped away to safety.
Lloyd Isgrove won a corner after 10 minutes, carving a hole in the Coventry defence, skipping beyond three players but fired straight at Charles-Cook at his near post.
From Hourihane’s corner, Roberts rose highest and despite the desperate dive of the Coventry stopper, he could not prevent the defender notching his first Reds goal of the season.
Striker Armstrong almost forced an error from Adam Davies on 18 minutes, testing the Barnsley stopper from distance but he got enough behind the ball to turn it away to safety.
After 22 minutes, Hourihane drew and acrobatic save from Charles-Cook after lashing goalward from 25-yards before Josh Brownhill fired straight at the stopper from range.
John Fleck bent an effort over Davies’ crossbar after good build-up play on 26 minutes while Marcus Tudgay headed tamely into the gloves of Davies seven minutes later.
Five minutes before half time, a stray pass back to the goalkeeper almost let Fletcher in but Charles-Cook redeemed himself with a goal-saving tackle.
Williams blazed well off target in the final action of the first period after carrying the ball from inside his own half but miscued on the edge of the area.
A double switch at the break saw Josh Scowen and Harry Chapman introduced for Lloyd Isgrove and Sam Winnall and the latter made an instant impression ion his Oakwell debut.
The winger raced through the middle of the park before being bundled over by Baily Cargill. His appeal for a penalty was waved away while Scowen was unable to fire home the loose ball.
The first booking of the afternoon went the way of Sam Ricketts just before the hour, who upended George Williams in full flight for a Reds free kick.
From the resulting effort, the ball broke for Chapman who saw his sweeping effort tipped onto the crossbar by a flying Charles-Cook.
The Reds doubled their advantage on the hour as Charles-Cook failed to meet another Hourihane free kick, the ball ricocheted the way of Fletcher who swept home from close range.
Davies made a smart save to deny Fleck scoring from 25-yards on 63 minutes while Brownhill found his way into the book for a foul out wide.
Chapman burst clear from inside his own half, blasting past Chris Stokes and dodging Cargill’s sliding challenge, only to lash wide at the final moment.
Twenty minutes from time, Coventry substitute James Maddison skipped inside the Reds defender but Davies smartly turned the ball away while Ashley Fletcher received a caution for a foul on Ricketts.
An injury to James Bree saw the teenager replaced by George Smith 18 minutes from time while Chapman continued to catch the eye following his half-time introduction.
Five minutes from time, he collected Scowen’s well weighted pass but bent the ball high over the crossbar from just inside the area.
Alfie Mawson met Hourihane’s corner a minute from the end only to head over the top before clearing Maddison’s effort off the line in stoppage time.
A total of 9,344 fans saw the Reds extend their unbeaten home run to six competitive matches with 535 fans making the trip from Coventry.
Reds: Davies, Bree (G. Smith, 72’ ), Mawson, Roberts, G. Williams, Isgrove (Scowen, 46’ ), Brownhill, Hourihane, Watkins, Fletcher, Winnall (Chapman, 46’ ).
Subs: Townsend Nyatanga, Khan, Tuton.
Coventry: Charles-Cook, Ricketts, Stephens, Cargill, Stokes, Murphy, Vincelot, (Rose, 53’ ) Fleck, Hunt (Maddison, 61’ ), Tudgay (Henderson, 61’ ), Armstrong.
Subs: Addai, Lameiras, Lorentzson, Ramage.