BARNSLEY are now without a win in eight Championship games, but they did show character in hitting back to earn a point after Burnley struck an early opener.
Division leading scorer Charlie Austin notched yet again as the play-off chasing Clarets went in front after just five minutes, only for Marcus Tudgay’s maiden Reds’ goal to earn a share of the spoils.
Oakwell fans haven’t seen a home success since the opening day of September though, and with tough away trips to Watford and Leicester beckoning, continuing to steer clear of the Championship drop zone may prove difficult in the coming weeks.
Reds’ boss Keith Hill tweaked his starting XI following Saturday’s encouraging display in the defeat against table-topping Cardiff.
In all there were three changes, with former Burnley man Stephen Foster returning to replace Scott Wiseman at the heart of the defence, while young Reuben Noble-Lazarus stepped up from the bench to replace Matt Done, who had disappointed at the weekend.
The remaining alteration saw new loan signing Akoz Buzsaky called up to make his full Reds debut across the middle, with Stephen Dawson relegated to the bench.
In the absence of Wiseman, keeper Luke Steele was handed the captain’s armband, while Burnley’s line-up featured two former Reds favourites – Kieran Trippier at left-back and ex skipper Jason Shackell in central defence.
The Clarets - under the stewardship now of one of Hill’s closest friends Sean Dyche - also featured sought-after hot-shot Austin who, despite having not scored for three games, still boasted 20 so far for this season.
Disastrously for the Reds, Austin bagged goal number 21 after just five minutes.
Again dismal defending from the hosts saw Austin inexplicably left unmarked, and he leapt to head home Ross Wallace’s corner-kick with consummate ease to register his 17th Championship goal this term.
The opening half-hour remained fruitless for the Reds, but despite Wallace and Martin Paterson going close, the score remained 1-0 until the 37th minute.
That was when Barnsley levelled, and after that they dominated until the half-time whistle.
Tudgay equalised, with the Notts Forest on-loan front-man heading home his first Reds goal past Lee Grant as he latched on to Scott Golbourne’s pinpoint cross.
The former Sheffield Wednesday favourite then came close to making it 2-1 minutes later, but this time his powerful strike was blocked by Ben Mee.
Only Dyche opted to make a change at the interval, with opposite number Hill seemingly content to stick with his battlers as they will have been keen to build on the momentum created at the end of the first period.
Tudgay dived in to divert an early header narrowly wide, but the visitors were quick to respond as Paterson found space, only to fire straight at a grateful Steele.
Old boy Trippier tested Steele with an accurate free-kick which looked to be heading towards the top corner, before there was a mighty scare with the woodwork coming to Barnsley’s rescue in the 54th minute.
Substitute Danny Ings was allowed room to charge towards the heart of the hosts’ defence, but thankfully his shot from just outside the box struck the base of a post before being scrambled away for a corner-kick by Foster.
The Reds’ leading scorer Craig Davies had endured a quiet game in the opening 70 minutes, but he suddenly came alive with a great effort which came agonisingly close.
Davies side-stepped Wallace before driving in a shot from just outside the Clarets’ box that fizzed inches wide.
The hosts had found an extra gear and Buzsaky was increasingly influential, but crucially the finishing touch was missing so the game headed towards a stalemate – not an ideal outcome given Barnsley’s precarious league position.
BARNSLEY: Steele 8, Cranie 7, Foster 7, McNulty 6, Golbourne 7, Greening 7, Buzsaki 8, Noble-Lazarus 7, Mellis 6 (O’Brien 81, 5), Davies 6 (Sinclair 79, 6), Tudgay 7. Subs (not used): Stones, Wiseman, Cywka, Dawson, Alnwick.
BARNSLEY: Grant 7, Duff 6, Shackell 7, Mee 6, Trippier 7, Wallace 7 (Vokes 84, 5), Bartley 5 (Ings 46, 6), Stock 7 (Edgar 80, 6), McCann 5, Paterson 6, Austin 7. Subs (not used): Lafferty, Stewart, Stanislas, Jensen.
Referee: Philip Gibbs. Attendance: 8,610.N
Man of match: Akos Buzsaky – he made a big impression on his debut.