IN-form Coventry sent struggling Barnsley spiralling to a seventh straight league defeat for the first time since way back in 1959.
The pressure on manager Lee Johnson will consequently increase, though he will have been encouraged by a battling performance which contained three goals in the second half.
Barnsley conceded after only three minutes. Liverpool loanee Ryan Kent skipped past Marc Roberts before lashing a shot past recalled Barnsley goalkeeper Adam Davies.
After 17 minutes the lead was doubled when Newcastle loanee Adam Armstrong flicked home from Aaron Phillips’s cross.
The visitors’ best efforts came from defender Alfie Mawson, who hit a 25-yard free-kick over the crossbar, and Lewin Nyatanga, whose header drifted wide.
There was an amazing four-goal blitz in the opening 15 minutes of the second period.
Mawson headed home to halve the deficit, only for Armstrong to slot home his second to make it 3-1 in the 52nd minute.
Josh Scowen drilled home into the corner to make it 3-2, but Aston Villa loanee Joe Cole bagged a beauty on the hour mark, crashing home a free-kick.
Scowen scored a third for Barnsley from the penalty spot deep into stoppage time, but it was not enough.
Coventry: Charles-Cook, Phillips, Ricketts, Martin, Stokes, Vincelot, Fleck, Armstrong, Cole (Murphy 62), O’Brien (Lameiras 62), Kent (Tudgay 70). Unused substitutes: Burge, Haynes, C Thomas, Fortune.
Barnsley: Davies, Wabara, Roberts, Mawson, Nyatanga, G Smith, Scowen, Pearson, Isgrove, M Smith (Wilkinson 59), Winnall (Jackson 84).Unused substitutes:Townsend, Bree, Abbott, Maris, Templeton.
Referee: Michael Bull (Essex).