The Reds are beaten again this afternoon with Bolton claiming the spoils.
Barnsley created numerous chances at The Macron Stadium, but Bolton Wanderers made them rue their missed opportunities as they ran out 3-1 winners.
After a sluggish start, Gary Madine tucked home Mark Little’s pull back midway through the half, but the Reds levelled immediately as Tom Bradshaw converted from the spot after he’d been upended.
Madine put the Trotters back in charge with a spot kick of his own just before the break, with Bradshaw, George Moncur and Adam Hammill going close to drawing the Reds level in the second half.
Mark Little extended the lead with a powerful effort across Adam Davies from a difficult angle, with Potts again drawing a low save from Alnwick as the Reds pushed for a second.
Tom Bradshaw and substitute Mamadou Thiam both went close in the final moments to pulling a goal back for the Reds, but found Alnwick in fine form as the Trotters held on.
Neither side managed to fashion any openings of note in the early stages, the Reds controlled the ball for long spells but the best they could produce was a low Jason McCarthy centre that was just a tad behind Tom Bradshaw.
The first big chance of the game fell to the hosts just past the quarter hour mark as Gary Madine rose highest to meet Will Buckley’s cross from the left, heading just over in the process.
The striker did manage to find his way onto the scoresheet after 20 minutes, tucking in Mark Little’s cross from close range but the Reds hit back immediately.
A drive forward from Tom Bradshaw ended with the Wales international being chopped to the ground by Reece Burke.
Bradshaw dusted himself down before slamming the ball straight down the middle to bring the Reds level less than two minutes after conceding.
The Reds continued moving the ball around at a fast tempo but could not find a way through the Bolton defence.
It was Phil Parkinson’s side who regained the lead through a rather dubious looking penalty as Madine went down under the challenge of Liam Lindsay, with replays suggesting it may have been a dive.
None the less, the striker dusted himself down and slotted in six minutes before the break to ensure the Trotters held a 2-1 half time lead.
Bradshaw almost had the final say in the half when he met Adam Hammill’s teasing stoppage time cross but could only head wide from a tough angle.
HALF TIME: Bolton 2-1 Barnsley
The hosts came back out looking the stronger of the two sides, but it was Paul Heckingbottom’s Reds who fashioned the first opening of the half.
Harvey Barnes received the ball on the left and teed up George Moncur, with the midfielder’s accurate effort forcing Ben Alnwick into a flying save to his left.
Somehow the Reds failed to draw level just before the hour mark as a trio of chances went begging. Bradshaw’s low effort was parried into the path of Hammill, who saw his header clawed away.
The ball dropped for Brad Potts six yards out, only for the midfielder’s swipe at the ball to be intercepted at the crucial time.
Jason McCarthy went close to his first Reds goal after muscling inside of the Bolton defence and drilling on target, Alnwick again just managing to shovel the attempt around the post.
With the Reds pressing for an equaliser, they were caught out by the Trotters, who scored a third goal through Mark Little.
The full-back surged into the area and hit a low attempt across Adam Davies to extend the lead and it could have been 4-1 moments later when former Reds loanee Adam Armstrong fired just wide from 20 yards.
In response, Ryan Hedges combined with Potts, the latter seeing his low effort pushed away to safety by Alnwick at his near post.
Fellow substitute Mamadou Thiam lashed just wide from the middle of the area and fired at Alnwick again when he was slipped in by Joe Williams.
Four minutes from time, Bradshaw glanced McCarthy’s pinpoint cross just over the top and produced a brilliant point blank save to deny the striker again in stoppage time.
Despite their best efforts, the Reds could not pull another goal back as the hosts wrapped up victory.
FULL TIME: Bolton 3-1 Barnsley
Attendance: 14,371 (1,281 away)
Bolton Wanderers: Alnwick (GK), Little, Beevers, Burke, Robinson, Buckley (Armstrong, 61’ ), Vela, Henry, Pratley, Ameobi (Noone, 83’ ), Madine (Wilbraham, 87’ ).
Subs: Howard (GK), Osede, Darby, Le Fondre.
Barnsley: Davies (GK) (c), McCarthy, Pearson, Lindsay, Yiadom, Moncur, J. Williams (McGeehan, 90+1’ ), Potts, Hammill (Thiam, 68’ ), Bradshaw, Barnes (Hedges, 73’ ).
Subs: Townsend (GK), Pinnock, Ugbo, Gardner.