Danny Wilson’s new-look Barnsley side finally got things together on Saturday as they held Steve Bruce’s near-full-strength Hull City to a 1-1 draw at Oakwell.
The Reds had lost their opening three pre-season friendly fixtures - against Halifax, Al Ain and Torino - but there was plenty of enterprise shown by the team at weekend and the hosts may well have gone on to snatch a late victory following an impressive second-half effort.
A decent result against last season’s FA Cup finalists will undoubtedly lift spirits ahead of tomorrow evening’s latest warm-up test at Oakwell against a youthful Manchester United XI (7pm kick-off).
As far as team news was concerned, the Oakwell faithful - who numbered almost 3,000 on a real scorcher of an afternoon - got a first look at new signings Adam Davies, Ross Turnbull, Conor Hourihane, James Bailey and Sam Winnall.
Trialist defender Reece Brown - the brother of Sunderland and former England star Wes - was also in the starting line-up.
He signed for Watford last summer, but spent the majority of last season on loan at Carlisle.
Club skipper Martin Cranie was back in the team after missing the trip to Italy due to reported interest from Blackpool, but Tom Kennedy was still missing, as was former trialist Will Hoskins, who may well have featured for the last time.
The Tigers line-up featured a host of last season’s first-team regulars as they were provided with a final chance to impress before they play their first ever Europa League game on Thursday - in Slovakia against FK Trencin in the third qualifying round.
Despite the intense heat, the Reds opened the game purposefully and Dale Jennings brought a fine second-minute save out of visiting keeper Steve Harper.
Hull began to click into gear soon after, though, and Ahmed Elmohamady ought to have done better when he sliced a shot well wide from inside the penalty box.
Reds custodian Davies was then called into action as he saved expertly from striker Sone Aluko.
Wilson made a number of changes at the interval but, despite Bailey, Winnall and Noble-Lazarus entering the fray to hopefully pep up the front line, it was the Tigers who pounced to fire home the opening goal in the 48th minute.
It was an error from Davies that led to the goal, as his poor attempted clearance was charged down by Shane Long and the ball trickled into an unguarded net.
Davies quickly redeemed himself, however, saving well keep out a pile-driver from the impressive Elmohamady.
Just when it was looking as though Hull were about to cut loose, back came the Reds, and they deservedly equalised in the 63rd minute.
Again the goal came following a goalkeeping howler.
This time Jennings’ hopefull ball forward was totally missed by advancing replacement keeper Eldin Jakupovic, leaving a delighted Hourihane to tap home from 10 yards into another unguarded goal.
From that point on, the gutsy Reds bossed proceedings, and were arguably unlucky not to have gone on to secure what would have been an eye-catching victory.
Jakupovic twice redeemed himself. First he beat away a crisply-struck effort from Jennings, then Winnall’s curling free-kick was parried as the hosts pushed for a second goal.
Two of the hosts’ best chances came in the final couple of frantic minutes. Winnall blasted a shot over after a through-ball from Dominic McHale, then Rhys Oates squeezed a shot inches wide from inside the box.
Barnsley: Davies (Turnbull 71), Brown, Nyatanga, Cranie, Hourihane, Jennings (McHale 77), Digby (Bailey 46), Rose (Oates 71), Abbott (Winnall 46), Smith, Boakye-Yiadom (Noble-Lazarus 46). Subs not used: McKnight, Maris, Cowgill.
Hull City: Harper (Jakupovic 46), Rosenior (Brady 71), Elmohamady, Ince, Chester, Huddlestone, Long (Dudgeon 71), Snodgrass (Boyd 71), Livermore, McShane, Aluko (Quinn 71). Subs not used: Brady, Sagbo, Townsend.
Referee: Andy Madley.