Josh Brownhill’s late equaliser denied Barnsley all three points as Bristol City claimed a share of the spoils at Oakwell.
The Reds had twice led through Kieffer Moore and Brad Potts, only to be pegged back by Famara Diédhiou and then Brownhill’s injury time leveller.
It was harsh on the hosts, who dominated for the vast majority of the game but were unable to hold on for a crucial win.
Bristol City were perhaps fortunate not to be down to ten men inside the opening five minutes. Bailey Wright was the last man as he brought down Moore, clean through on goal, but it was only a booking for the Robins’ captain.
However, Barnsley won a corner from the resulting free-kick and Moore rose highest to meet George Moncur’s cross and head home his third goal of the season to give José Morais’ side a deserved early lead.
The Reds continued to look the better team in the opening exchanges and came close to doubling their lead when Oli McBurnie played through Moore. However, the striker was unable to double his tally as his low shot was gathered comfortably by Frank Fielding.
It was a warning sign that spurred the visitors on as they looked to breathe new life into their play-off push. Brownhill showed a clean set of heels to beat Zeki Fryers before cutting inside and seeing his fierce drive blocked by Adam Jackson.
But the Robins wouldn’t be kept at bay much longer and Diédhiou curled a magnificent strike into the top corner from the edge of the box to pull the scores level just after the half hour mark.
Barnsley had chances to retake the lead before the interval, first through Moncur who fired narrowly wide after Moore’s pull back.
The Reds’ striker was involved once more on the stroke of half-time as he headed Andy Yiadom’s cross back across the face of goal, only for McBurnie to head straight at Fielding from close range.
Potts came close to putting Barnsley back in front just three minutes after the restart when he latched onto Moncur’s cross, but Fielding was able to smother the ball right on the goal line.
Moore, dangerous all afternoon, was then picked out by a sensational Gary Gardner through ball, but his low shot was tipped wide by Fielding.
From the resulting corner, Moore again rose highest to connect with the cross, but his powerful header was straight into the arms of the grateful Fielding.
McBurnie then skipped past Eros Pisano with a delicate nutmeg, but his shot was blocked by a Robins defender before Fryers lashed the rebound over the bar.
However, the Reds continued to press and were eventually rewarded when Potts slammed home from inside the area after being picked out by Moore, who had held up the ball brilliantly on the left flank.
It was no less than Barnsley deserved for their hard work and determination through the contest.
But the visitors would have the final say as Joe Bryan floated a cross into the area and Brownhill’s header looped over Adam Davies to claim a point for Lee Johnson’s side.
REDS XI: Davies, Yiadom (c), Jackson, Lindsay, Fryers, Potts, Gardner, Moncur (Williams, 61), Isgrove (Hammill, 61), Moore (McCarthy, 88), McBurnie
Not used: Walton, Bradshaw, Pinnock, Mahoney
BRISTOL CITY XI: Fielding, Pisano, Bryan, Wright (c), Baker, Smith, Brownhill, Diédhiou, Reid, Paterson (Kent, 64), Pack (Durić, 76)
Not used: Steele, Walsh, Kelly, Hegeler, Diony