Preston North End could not hold on to a first-half lead as Barnsley fought back to draw 1-1 at Oakwell.
Joe Garner bagged his 21st goal of the season on Gentry Day after pouncing on Callum Robinson’s cross and smashing a low strike past Adam Davies in the 37th minute.
But Barnsley clawed their way back into the game in the second half and substitute Jabo Ibehre nodded home from close range in the 78th minute.
North End are still second and the result moves Simon Grayson’s men three points clear of third placed Swindon Town in the League One table.
John O’Sullivan’s 25-yard shot grazed the outside of Sam Johnstone’s post before flying to safety in the ninth minute.
A minute later PNE were thwarted by an unbelievable save from Barnsley keeper Adam Davies. Garner pounced just two yards from goal but Davies somehow managed to tip the striker’s chested effort over the bar.
Garner appealed for a penalty after the ball appeared to hit a Barnsley hand in the 22nd minute but referee Eddie Ilderton waved away his claim.
Clarke blazed over from close range and Robinson’s shot was blocked on the line as North End upped the ante.
And North End finally opened the scoring as Garner latched on to Robinson’s cross and fired the ball into the bottom right corner in the 37th minute.
The host’s started the second half lively and nearly equalised as Martin Cranie connected with Conor Hourihane’s cross. But captain Cranie could not keep his header down and it flew inches over the bar.
The Tykes new loan signing Cameron Stewart missed a gilt-edge opportunity minutes later as he blasted over the bar with an empty net at his mercy.
North End had a goal disallowed in the 54th minute. Paul Huntington steered the ball over the line but Mr Ilderton had already blown for a foul on Tykes keeper Davies.
But after a period of pressure the host’s finally bagged an equaliser. Barnsley sub Ibehre popped up in the box and headed Mason Holgate’s cross past Johnstone in the 78th minute.
Bailey Wright latched on to Gallagher’s fierce set-piece in injury time but the defender headed straight at Davies.
PNE: Johnstone, Clarke, Wright, Huntington, Laird, Welsh, Johnson, Gallagher, Beckford (Little, 85), Garner, Robinson (Humphrey, 65). Subs not used: Stuckmann, Kilkenny, Davies, Woods, Ebanks-Blake.
Barnsley: Davies, Holgate, Cranie, Nyatanga, John, Waring (Jennings, 73), Winnall, Hourihane, O’Sullivan (Hemmings, 86), Bailey, Stewart (Ibehre, 73), Subs not used: Dibble, M’Voto, Smith, Berry.
Referee: Eddie Ilderton (Tyne and Wear)
Attendance: 12,471 (PNE 2927)