Reds fans might have felt a little daunted going into this game, but following a dismal start to the season the atmosphere among the Ewood Park faithful appeared somewhat subdued.
Rovers had picked up only one point and been dumped out of the League Cup at Carlisle.
Rovers threatened first, however, with Rhodes getting a header away, though the offside flag had already gone up.
The hosts were again menacingly on the attack when Dunn wriggled past Mellis before firing in a shot which M’Voto blocked bravely, with Cairney charging in to blast the rebound well over.
King was looking particularly lively early on for Rovers, and he twisted and turned expertly before whipping in a low cross which M’Voto was forced to frantically clear at the near post.
There were cries for a penalty from the home supporters whenJudge tumbled after being challenged in the box by Etuhu, but the referee said no.
King then fired in a shot which Steele saved comfortably.
It was against the run of play when Barnsley took the lead after 13 minutes.
There seemed little danger as Etuhu found DAGNALL some 25 yards from goal, but the former Scunthorpe man struck a sweet drive into the bottom corner via a slight deflections from Dann.
But the Reds joy was short-lived. Within four minutes defensive rock M’Voto had been sent off and Rovers had made it 1-1 M’Voto was shown a straight red card for bundling Rhodes over from behind as he bore down on goal just outside the box.
Up stepped CAIRNEY to curl the free-kick high into the top corner.
It could have been worse when a goal-line clearance from Kennedy thwarted Lowe as he fired in a half-volley.
It was no surprise when Rovers went into the lead just before the half-hour mark.
Hot-shot RHODES made it 2-1 when his looping header from Kane’s peach of a deep cross dropped into the far corner of Steele’s net.
Before the break the hosts were to score twice more. In the 39th minute that man RHODES bagged again, lobbing Steele superbly from an angle, 25 yards out, to make it 3-1.
Four minutes later it was 4-1. The Reds were stretched down the right as Kane sprinted clear, this time to cros for KING who slid in at the far post to bury a shot past the despairing Steele.
Flitcroft had replaced Mellis and O’Grady with Perkins and new boy Pedersen.
There were no further changes from Flitcroft at the interval, but already the situation looked irretrievable.
However, the Reds had far from given up the ghost.
Within minutes of the restart Dawson flew down the right flank before crossing in low for Pedersen, but his near-post effort was blocked bravely by skipper Dann.
Dagnall also tried to make in-roads, though before the hour mark was up Rovers fired themselves further ahead.
This time right-back KANE found space to cut inside before unleashing a super shot from the corner of the 18-yard box that Steele just couldn’t handle as he could only parry the ball over the line.
Now ten-man Barnsley were truly out for the count, and minutes later it was almost 6-1 as Dann rose highest at a corner-kick but couldn’t direct his header on target.
Boss Flitcroft looked distraught on the touchline, and there was still half-an-hour left to play.
Next to go close for Rovers was veteran Dunn, who zipped a shot narrowly wide from the edge of the box.
At least the Reds fans tried their best to rally their troops as they continued to make themselves heard.And they were able to celebrate another goal in the 71st minute.
A super move down the left culminated with Pedersen expertly teeing up fellow sub CYWKA, and he drilled home convincingly from 15 yards.
Maybe there was a ray of hope now, and minutes later Perkins let fly from 25 yards, with his shot only just whistling past the post.
That hope quickly whittled away again though, and on a day of frustration the Reds - who still await their first win of the season - paid a heavy price after seeing their defensive kingpin sent off so early in the game.4