Fortress Oakwell: Barnsley 3-2 Luton Town
The Reds have not been at their best at Oakwell this season, despite their results, but put in a good performance in front of the television cameras with goals from Brad Potts, Cameron McGeehan and Mamadou Thiam sealing a third home win.
It was perhaps more convincing than the scoreline suggested as Michael Collins' brace kept Luton interested, but the Hatters' five-game unbeaten run was ended.
The Reds enjoyed a perfect start as Potts, fresh from his two goals at Peterborough last week, put them ahead in the fifth minute.
The midfielder shook off the challenge of several Luton defenders and rolled a low shot into the bottom corner from 20 yards.
It got even better for them just before the half-hour when Luton old boy McGeehan came back to haunt his old club and fired in his first Reds goal in exactly 365 days.
He had George Moncur to thank, as he weaved his way down the left and laid it on a plate for McGeehan to find the bottom corner from 16 yards.
Luton did not give up and after Sonny Bradley headed just wide and Jorge Grant hit the outside of the post with a free-kick they got a lifeline in first-half injury time.
Ben Williams, making his home debut, clipped Harry Cornick and James Collins lashed home the resulting penalty to change the complex of the half-time team-talks.
Stendel's men struggled for the same fluency after the break, though they could have regained their two-goal lead when McGeehan headed Alex Mowatt's free-kick against the crossbar from close range.
The Reds had some defending to do but they did get that cushion back with the goal of the game in the 79th minute.
Jacob Brown foraged into the area and a loose ball fell to Thiam and he sent a thumping effort into the far top corner, leaving James Shea no chance.
Luton were not done and made it a nervy final few minutes when Kazenga LuaLua's overhit cross crashed into the post and Collins was on hand to fire home the rebound.
The hosts saw it out with ease, though, to move into the automatic promotion places ahead of the afternoon kick-offs.
Barnsley: Walton, Cavare, Pinnock, Lindsay, Williams (Pinillos 73), Potts, Mowatt, McGeehan, Bahre (Thiam 68), Moncur (Hedges 83), Brown
Unused subs: Kendrick, Bird, Jackson, Adeboyejo
Luton: Shea, Stacey, Pearson, Bradley, Potts, Rea (Hylton 79), Ruddock, Justin, Grant (McCormack 58), Collins, Cornick (LuaLua 72)
Unused subs: Isted, Shinnie, Jarvis, Sheehan
Referee: Ross Joyce