The Reds fall to defeat again on the road against Tony Pulis' Play-Off candidates Boro.
Barnsley's chances of survival were dealt a blow this afternoon at the Riverside with Middlesbrough taking the Reds apart in the opening hour, before a spirited fightback gave the travelling fans slight hope of a comeback.
José Morais made five changes from Tuesday night's side that lost 2-1 in Cardiff with Adam Jackson back from injury at centre half, both full back positions were changed with starts for Dani Pinillos and Dimitri Cavaré respectively; with Brad Potts nursing a knock from Tuesday night, in came Christoph Knasmüllner for his first start and Ryan Hedges was preferred out wide over Mamadou Thiam.
Things couldn't have started any worse, with Boro scoring inside the opening minute as a Ryan Shotton cross was steered home at the far post by Daniel Ayala.
The Reds looked disjointed and in a torrid opening 45, they rarely ventured into any sort of attacking areas.
The second goal arrived on 18 minutes when the lively Adama Traore cut inside from 20 yards and fired a venomous effort beyond Townsend for 2-0.
Despite the lack of competitiveness in the game, there were very few chances created by the hosts, who despite a plethora of crosses and set pieces, barely tested Townsend for a third time.
HALF TIME: Boro 2-0 Barnsley
Thiam replaced Hedges at the break as Morais looked for his side to get back into the contest.
However, just eight minutes into the second period and it was effectively game over as Patrick Bamford knocked home from two yards out after Stewart Downing's corner was missed by Townsend.
But five minutes later there was at least a goal for the 1,037 Reds fans who made the journey north to cheer, as Kieffer Moore headed home a rebound after a terrific drive by Gary Gardner was only parried by Randolph in the Boro goal.
Lloyd Isgrove replaced Knasmüllner on the hour and the Reds began to take charge of the contest with Oli McBurnie driving into the box moments later and being denied by a great block as he looked to shoot.
Stevie Mallan came on for Joe Williams on 71 minutes and he was next to try his luck, a 30-yard drive that Randolph turned behind for a corner.
It was all too little, too late however for Morais' men as the Reds fell to a second consecutive away defeat.
FULL TIME: Boro 3-1 Barnsley