Barnsley went into theYorkshire derby searching for only their second away win in the Championship.
And the Reds knew they would have their work cut out against a side hungry to push for promotion to the Premier League.
New boss Danny Wilson made three changes to his side as he looked to help guide the Reds to local bragging rights in his first game back in charge of the South Yorkshire outfit.
But it was the hosts who created the best chance of the opening exchanges and who should have been in front after only four minutes.
Some poor defending from Ramage allowed striker Smith to sneak behind him. But Stoke City loan keeper Butland blocked Smith’s point-blank left-foot volley.
O’Brien tried his luck from distance, but his right-foot shot flew wide.
Smith got a yard on Ramage, only to scuff his shot as Butland saved easily.
The Reds were doing well to keep possession, most probably one of new manager Wilson’s requests following his return to Oakwell.
And in the 25th minute Hassell fired just wide with an ambitious dipping 30-yard right foot volley. It was a promising sign for the visitors as they looked for a welcome lead.
Midfielder Mellis won a free-kick in a dangerous position and from Hassell’s delivery Ramage glanced a header wide of the right post.
It was turning into a fiery affair with Murphy and Mowat both booked for the hosts, while Mellis also received a yellow card. The trio would have to play it safe for the remainder of the fixture or risk the chance of getting sent-off.
Hassell floated in a delightful free-kick seven minutes before the break and Tudgay saw his looping header tipped over the bar byKenny.
The dangerous McCormack dragged a shot wide of Butland’s left-hand post soon after, before Tudgay wasted a glorious chance to score.
O’Brien’s overhead kick set Tudgay through on goal, but he shot agonisingly wide.
Centre-back Pearce crossed from the left wing and Butland missed his punch. That allowed Smith another chance, but he headed over.
The hosts came out of the traps firing on full cylinders immediately after the restart and left wing-back Pugh nearly put them ahead.
Pugh’s left-foot shot looked destined for the top left corner, but Butland pulled off another fine save to top his effort over the bar and out for a corner. It was an early wake-up call for the Reds.
Ramage was forced to make a last-ditch tackle on Smith after the striker had caused him problems again.The Palace loan defender was able to stretch and avert the danger. But the visitors were under the cosh as McDermott’s men forced the pace.
The Reds were soaking up the pressure and Ramage had to be alert to head over his own bar form Pugh’s dangerous ball into the box.
McCormack found time and space just after the hour mark, but the in-form striker shot straight at Butland.
And then keeper Butland made another fine save to thwart the hosts. The England Under-21 international made a brilliant fingertip block to tip McCormack’s head, from a Pugh corner, over his own crossbar.
Mellis rifled into the side netting in the 71st minute after a good flowing move from the Reds. It was the visitors’ best chance of the second half and the former Chelsea man should have done better.
Perkins burst free and teed up O’Brien, but the Scot struggled for power on his left-foot shot and former Sheffield United keeper Kenny saved comfortably.
Smith let rip with a powerful left-foot shot with 13 minutes remaining, but his effort flew across the face of goal much to the dismay of the Leeds’ supporters.
Disaster in the 84th minute as Tudgay was sent-off for a two-footed lunge on Zaliukas. The striker was shown a straight red card for his challenge with Zaliukas left in a heap just outside his own area. Referee Stroud awarded six minutes of injury-time, the most of which came from Tudgay’s red card drama Pugh had a chance to win it for the hosts, but his low left-foot shot was straight at a Butland.