Preston North End failed to take full advantage of Sky Bet League 1 leaders Bristol City having the weekend off from league action as they had to settle for a point at Barnsley.Joe Garner gave second-placed North End a 37th-minute lead after a scramble in the box saw the ball fall to the feet of the striker, who coolly slotted home his 21st goal of the season.
But with 11 minutes to go Barnsley finally broke Preston's resistance when Jabo Ibehre stooped to head home Mason Holgate's cross.
Simon Grayson's side are 10 points behind Bristol City, who play Walsall in the Johnstone's Paint Trophy final at Wembley on Sunday.
At the other end of the table, Crawley Town climbed out of the relegation zone with a 1-0 home win against fellow strugglers Leyton Orient. Izale McLeod's first-half penalty gave the Red Devils a third straight victory and kept the O's in the bottom four.
Colchester United dropped crucial points in their battle against the drop as Doug Loft scored a 96th-minute equaliser for Gillingham in a 2-2 draw at Priestfield.
George Moncur put the U's ahead but Max Ehmer levelled for the hosts. It looked like Chris Porter's header three minutes from time would win it for Tony Humes' team, but, after Matthew Briggs was sent off for Colchester, Loft rescued a point for the Gills.
Goal difference is all that is keeping Notts County out of the relegation zone after a 4-1 defeat at promotion-chasing MK Dons.
Carl Baker, his namesake Lewis and two goals from Will Grigg saw the Milton Keynes men win comfortably, with Elliott Whitehouse netting the Magpies' reply.
Sheffield United won for the first time in six matches as Jose Baxter's first-half penalty saw the Blades to a 1-0 victory against Port Vale, who had midfielder Michael Brown sent off late on against his former club.
There was another red card at the ABAX Stadium where Ricardo Santos was dismissed as Peterborough United moved into the Play-Off places with victory over fellow top-six hopefuls Chesterfield. Michael Bostwick scored the only goal of the game after 29 minutes.
Rochdale remain on the coat-tails of the team in the Play-Off hunt after beating Scunthorpe United 3-1. Kevin van Veen brought the Iron level after Michael Rose had put Dale ahead but further goals from Ian Henderson and Peter Vincenti won it for Keith Hill's side.
Two more Play-Off hopefuls faced each other at Valley Parade where Bradford City and Fleetwood Town drew 2-2. Goals from Jon Stead and Christopher Routis put the Bantams in control but Jamie Proctor headed the visitors back into it with four minutes left before Nathan Pond netted an injury-time equaliser.
Doncaster Rovers came from behind to win 3-1 at Coventry City. Dominic Samuel gave the hosts an early lead but goals from Richie Wellens, Jonson Clarke-Harris and Harry Forrester saw Rovers return to South Yorkshire with all three points.
Conor Wilkinson struck the only goal of the game as Oldham Athletic won 1-0 at Crewe Alexandra.