A DRAMATIC leveller in the second minute of stoppage time from Angus MacDonald rescued a point for Barnsley - and ensured that ex-Reds striker Sam Winnall did not hog all the headlines on his first return to Oakwell.
Winnall looked like providing the key moment after biting the hand which used to feed him on his first return to Oakwell to silence the Barnsley boo-boys with a bizarre 50th-minute opener.
The former Reds striker, jeered throughout by home supporters - one of whom threw a toy pig in his direction early on - fired home shortly after the interval, profiting from a horrendous error from ex-Sheffield Wednesday keeper Adam Davies to blight his 100th appearance for Barnsley.
The Reds custodian failed to clear his lines and was dispossessed close to the byline by Adam Reach and Winnall obligingly slotted the ball into the empty net.
It looked like securing a derby double, only for MacDonald - who put through his own goal in the reverse fixture at Oakwell - to pop up and restore parity in stoppage time, bundling in from close range following Adam Hammill’s free-kick.
Amazingly, Barnsley almost won it with Keiren Westwood denying substitute George Moncur before Morgan Fox cleared Hammill’s curler off the line.
The Reds made three changes, with Saidy Janko handed his first start for the club after recovering from injury, with Alex Mowatt and Ryan Kent also promoted to the starting line-up, with Marley Watkins and Adam Armstrong demoted to the bench.
As expected, Wednesday handed an opportunity against his former club to Winnall, with Sam Hutchinson and Callum McManaman also lining up from the off.
The first-half action showcased two sides who were high on effort, but clearly lacking on the confidence front in the final third.
Barnsley, with Hammill being their most influential force, had the better of it, although Wednesday had two half-decent moments shortly before the break with McManaman, moved into a central position, firing over when well placed.
Play started with the Owls’ sell-out 4,800 contingent singing their support of Winnall, quickly jeered by those in the Pontefract Road end, while a cuddly toy pig thrown in his direction provided an amusing early interlude to events.
Good opportunities were at a premium in the opening half hour, with Tom Bradshaw dragging a shot wide after blocking a clearance from Glenn Loovens, while Hammill saw his sharp header held by Kieren Westwood following Andy Yiadom’s cross.
Yiadom went off for running at regular intervals in the first period after injuring his shoulder early on, while Sam Hutchinson was forced to leave the fray on 36 minutes after what looked like a recurrence of knee trouble.
Westwood also fielded a goalbound header from Bradshaw, while Jordan Rhodes did well to clear Angus MacDonald’s flicked header close to the goalline - but it was pretty tame stuff in the main.
Yiadom eventually succumbed to his injury early in the second half before the game-breaking moment arrived in bewildering fashion.
it proved a calamitous moment for Davies, who inexplicably tried to shepherd the ball over the dead-ball line under pressure from Reach instead of punting clear and he paid a heavy price.
Reach picked his pocket and teed up Winnall, who could not believe his luck as he coolly slotting the ball into the empty net.
The bizarre goal winded the Reds for a spell and Winnall had the ball in the net again, only for the offside flag to be raised.
Barnsley regrouped eventually and Tom Lees made a vital clearance following good work by Hammill before Davies denied the quiet Rhodes at the other end.
The hosts threw Marley Watkins and Adam Armstrong on in a bid to reclaim the initiative and the latter went close to a leveller after being slotted in by Ryan Kent, with his low angled shot blocked by Westwood.
Wednesday looked like seeing out the game in comfort, only for the Reds to grab a lifeline when MacDonald struck his first league goal for the club, with Moncur, Hammill and Matty James going close to winning it for the hosts.
Barnsley: Davies; Janko, Roberts, MacDonald, Yiadom (Moncur 49); James; Hammill, Scowen, Mowatt (Watkins 62), Kent; Bradshaw (Armstrong 62). Substitutes unused: Townsend, Jackson, Hedges, Lee.
Sheffield Wednesday: Westwood; Hunt, Lees, Loovens, Fox; McManaman (Matias 73), Hutchinson (Jones 36), Bannan, Reach; Winnall, Rhodes (Fletcher 64). Substitutes unused: Wildsmith, Hooper, Palmer, Semedo.
Referee: K Friend (Leicestershire).
Attendance: 18,003 (5,009 Sheffield Wednesday supporters).