Barnsley U23s ended a four-game losing streak with a credible draw against Crystal Palace at Oakwell.
Paul Harsley’s side had the better chances against the Professional Development League South leaders on Friday afternoon, but were unable to find the goal to secure all three points.
The visitors came close in the opening stages when Jason Lokilo saw his low drive blocked by Will Smith. It was a sign of the resolute defending to come from the Reds backline, who thwarted Palace at every attempt.
Victor Adeboyejo came close to breaking the deadlock midway through the first half when he cleverly broke the offside trap, only to see his shot rattle the foot of the post.
Adam Lund, like his central defensive partner Smith earlier in the half, was called into action twice in a matter of moments as he bravely blocked shots from James Daly and Joseph Hungbo to keep the scores level.
The Reds dominated possession for much of the first half, but were unable to create any clear cut chances against a stubborn visiting defence.
Lokilo was the Eagles’ most dangerous outlet all afternoon, and he came close to opening the scoring three minutes after the interval when he let fly from 30 yards with a curling free-kick.
Barnsley continued to create chances and were almost rewarded on 52 minutes when Tai-Reece Chisholm danced down the left flank. His pull back fell to the feet of Amir Berkovits, but Joe Tupper in the Palace goal was equal to his effort.
It was then the visitors’ turn to enjoy a healthy spell of possession, but the young Reds showed their defensive qualities to keep Richard Shaw’s side at bay despite increased pressure.
Adeboyejo fired over the bar after a neat turn on the corner of the area, before Jack Hunter saw his powerful header blocked after he connected well with Romal Palmer’s stunning free-kick.
There was still time for Barnsley to launch one last assault on the Eagles’ goal, but substitute Louis Wardle’s fierce shot was blocked as the visitors held on for a point at Oakwell.
REDS XI: Greatorex, Stobana, Smith (c), Lund, Williams, Walsh (Wardle, 72), Hunter, Palmer, Berkovits (Saunders, 82), Adeboyejo, Chisholm
Not used: Kendrick, Greenfield, Gagen
PALACE XI: Tupper, Bakary, Brown, McGregor, O’Dwyer (Kigbu, 55), Woods, Hungbo, Bryon (Rea, 74), Daly, Lokilo, Lumeka
Not used: Boateng, Funnell, Robertson