The Reds fell to their first defeat at Oakwell under Gerhard Struber as Preston North End were comfortable 3-0 winners on Tuesday night in the Sky Bet Championship.
Head Coach Struber made two changes from the 1-0 defeat to Bristol City on Saturday. Goalkeeper Sami Radlinger was recalled to the starting line-up, whilst on-loan defender Kilian Ludewig was handed his full Barnsley debut.
The Reds came into the game with a good record against Preston, having previously lost just one of their last six league meetings against them.
Barnsley looked to continue that record from the off as Conor Chaplin had the first opportunity within the opening five minutes.
Jacob Brown played a wonderfully weighted through ball to the onrushing striker, who shot across goal with his right-foot, only to be denied by the outstretched fingertips of Declan Rudd.
Just shy of 20 minutes, Preston went on the attack. Pacey midfielder Daniel Johnson raced down the by-line on the right before he cut the ball square for Tom Barkhuizen who slotted home from six-yards-out.
Brown then tested the hands of Rudd with a volley, but it was Preston who were to score a second. Josh Harrop saw a shot blocked inside the six yard box having robbed Mads Andersen out wide, before the in-form Johnson followed up the shot and doubled Preston’s lead ten minutes before half-time.
January signing Marcel Ritzmaier had a pop from distance in an attempt to reduce the deficit, but it was Rudd again who was equal to the challenge and palmed away the midfielder’s effort.
A minute before the break, Preston scored a third and Barkhuizen had a second. The forward latched onto a mistake in defence before his shot took a deflection off Radlinger and landed in the back of the net.
HALF-TIME: Barnsley 0-3 Preston North End
Former Red Brad Potts made a substitute appearance for Preston midway through the second half and almost made an immediate impact. The ball was pulled back for him inside the area, but his first-time finish was dragged just past the post.
Harrop nearly added a fourth for Preston with a few minutes to go, however, when the ball arrived at his feet eight-yards-out, his side-footed shot went wide of the target.
Ludewig lined up an effort from outside the area, but his audacious shot went high and wide of Rudd’s goal.
The fourth official indicated three minutes of stoppage time, but the Reds were unable to find a consolation goal.
FULL-TIME: Barnsley 0-3 Preston North End
REDS XI: Radlinger, J. Williams, Dougall (Woodrow, 54), Andersen, Brown, Chaplin (Schmidt, 75), Ludewig, Thomas (Styles, 61), Ritzmaier, Halme, Mowatt (C).
SUBSTITUTES NOT USED: Collins, B. Williams, Sibbick, Simoes.
PRESTON XI: Rudd, Fisher, Pearson, Davies, Browne (C), Harrop, Johnson (Potts, 67), Rafferty, Bauer, Barkhuizen (Nugent, 74), Sinclair (Maguire, 67).
SUBSTITUTES NOT USED: Ripley, Clarke, Ledson, Stockley.