Barnsley slumped to the bottom of the Championship when David Nugent’s double sentenced them to their fourth successive away defeat. They have not won away since February.
Barnsley were desperate for a win having made their worst start to a Championship season for 27 years.
The Reds had lost six of their eight league fixtures and were second from bottom.
Oakwell boss Davud Flitcroft rung the changes as his struggling side looked to get back on track in the first of three tough matches before the next international break.
Last season Barnsley clinched a battling 2-2 with Leicester at the King Power Stadium and beat them 2-0 at home in one of their better performances of last season.
But this season has been disastrous with Reds having held a crisis meeting to discuss the way forward with Championship survival again looking the name of the game.
The Reds were sluggish out of the blocks and defender M’voto made a timely block to get in the way of Nugent’s goalbound strike.
Less than 40 seconds later the Frenchman got another excellent challenge in on the striker inside the box.
Jennings tried his luck from distance at the other end, but his right-foot shot flew well wide.
Midfielder Drinkwater, a former Reds’ loanee, hit a sweet left-foot shot straight at debutant Butland.
Barnsley thought they’d scored, only for wing-back Wiseman’s goal to be ruled offside. McCourt had done all the good work with a bursting run through the middle which caught the Foxes’ defence cold. But Wiseman was well offside.
Jennings had another wayward shot as the Reds started to get on top, before McCourt forced a good low save from Schmeichel having let rip from the edge of the area.
Nugent squared for the on-rushing Dyer and he was saw his thunder bolt drive deflect off defender Noble-Lazarus and then pushed past the left post after a wonderful save from Butland.
O’Grady was forced to head over his own bar as the pressure mounted and, shortly after the hour mark, Vardy was denied by a fine outstretched block from Butland.
Wiseman was caught out as he allowed Vardy to thread the ball through to Dyer, only for the winger to poke his right-foot shot inches wide.
Knockaert had a penalty appeal turned down after a crunching challenge from M’voto.
Knockeart rifled over – and the effort was always rising – four minutes after the break after the home side made a bright start.
But it wasn’t long before the Foxes made the breakthrough they had threatened for so long.
And it was NUGENT who broke the deadlock, his sweet right-foot strike left Butland no chance.
Nugent found himself in acres of space with Noble-Lazarus nowhere to be seen and he slotted home into the bottom left-hand corner.
It was nearly 2-0 when Cranie nearly deflected a Vardy cross into his own net, before Nugent headed the rebound against the crossbar.
Noble-Lazarus was then substituted as Flitcroft changed the formation of his side with winger Cywka brought on to offer more attacking options as the visitors went in search of an equaliser.
But a second goal came when Butland felled NUGENT in the box and the striker happily obliged from the spot for his second goal of the game. The keeper was lucky just to get a yellow card.
However, the Reds hit back with 17 minutes to go when Kennedy whipped in a delightful cross and unmarked substitute Scotland headed into the bottom left corner to give Flitcroft’s side hope.
Sub Cywka then forced two saves with the space of two minutes from Schmeichel as the Reds battled hard to at least get a point.
Schmeichel denied the Polish playmaker with a fine one-handed block moments later and then thwarted skipper Cranie with an even better block.
Cranie had a shot charged down from the resulting corner, but that was the last of the chances.