Paul Heckingbottom's Reds create the better of the chances against Cardiff City, but are held to a goalless draw by the Bluebirds.
Barnsley put in a strong showing against Cardiff City under the lights at Oakwell, but had to settle for a point as they drew 0-0 with the Bluebirds.
In a first half void of chances, Kenneth Zohore came closest for either side with a 25-yard effort that flew over the top, while Greg Halford was forced to clear off the line after Marley Watkins’ low centre struck him, but he recovered just in time.
The Reds increased their bid for an opener after the restart, with Saidy Janko, Adam Hammill and Josh Scowen all denied in quick succession by the replacement stopper.
Anthony Pilkington blazed the Bluebirds’ best chance of the second half over from an angle while a low Gethin Jones strike from the edge of the area rippled the side netting.
The visitors applied late pressure to the Reds goal but failed to find a way past Adam Davies, with Kenneth Zohore’s deflected effort the closest they came to snatching all the points.
The returning Marley Watkins thought he had opened the scoring less than 60 seconds in, turning a low cross from the right on target, only for it to be deflected behind as it flew toward goal.
That was as good as it got for either team in the opening exchanges, aside from some silky skill from Adam Hammill out wide as he skipped away from four players, but could not find a cross.
Kenneth Zohore’s blistering strike from just outside the area midway through the half sailed high over Adam Davies’ crossbar before the Reds found another gear.
Saidy Janko and Tom Bradshaw combined to set Watkins free down the right. He centred the ball in the hope of giving Alex Mowatt a tap-in, only for Greg Halford to intercept and stop the ball crossing his own line with a strong clearance.
The first half chances dried up after that, with neither side looking likely to break the deadlock, and so it proved as the sides headed in level at the break.
HALF TIME: Barnsley 0-0 Cardiff City
Cardiff stopper Allan McGregor, who picked up an injury in the first half, was replaced at half time by Brian Murphy, and Mowatt was given the first opportunity to test the stopper three minutes into the second half.
Tom Bradshaw’s driving run was illegally halted by Sol Bamba, resulting in a yellow card for the defender, but Mowatt’s free kick struck the wall and drifted behind, with Angus MacDonald flicking the resulting corner wide.
The first shots on target of the match game came three minutes later when the ball ricocheted off Janko and flew towards goal, bringing a flying save out of Murphy.
And he had to be alert to deal with the follow-up, acrobatically springing away to his left to stop Adam Hammill’s equally acrobatic attempt.
Josh Scowen’s driven attempt from 25 yards moments later brought another save from Murphy at his near post, and Hammill’s curling effort just before the hour seemed destined for the top corner, but again Murphy was there to gather.
Cardiff defender Sol Bamba was incredibly lucky not to be dismissed for the visitors after tripping Tom Bradshaw as he raced to get onto the ball, for what would have been his second yellow card.
However, the defender left the field on a stretcher following the incident and escaped serious punishment from referee Scott Duncan.
Chances were at a premium as the game entered its final stages, with Anthony Pilkington blazing a free kick over the top, after Janko was judged to have pulled back substitute Kadeem Harris.
Gethin Jones’ surging run forward saw the Welshman drill a left-footed shot just past the upright, WITH Matt Connolly booked for a foul earlier in the move in the aftermath.
Watkins came close to pinching it in stoppage time, racing onto Adam Armstrong’s through ball but Murphy once again got down well to gather the ball.
Attendance: 10,814 (183 away).
Reds: Davies (GK), Janko, Roberts (c), MacDonald, Jones, James, Scowen, Watkins, Mowatt (Kent , 71’ ), Hammill (Hedges, 84’ ), Bradshaw (Armstrong, 82’ ).
Subs: Townsend (GK), Moncur, Lee, A. Jackson.
Cardiff City: McGregor (GK) (Murphy, 46’ (GK)), Connolly, Bamba (c) (Morrison, 64’ ), Ecuele Manga, Bennett, Noone, Halford, Gunnarsson, John (Harris, 65’ ), Pilkington, Zohore.
Subs: Richards, Whittingham, Ralls, Hoilett.