BARNSLEY’S charge towards the League One play-offs was checked by a determined Scunthorpe side at sun-drenched Oakwell.
There was plenty of effort and endeavour from the Tykes up against another in-form side, but they could not find a breakthrough, with the visiting players clearly keen to impress new manager Graham Alexander.
Barnsley caretaker boss Paul Heckingbottom appeared happy with the outcome, however.
His side remain in sixth place in the table and Heckingbottom said: “I’m pleased with a point given the start we had. We were poor in the first half.
“It was much better in the second half. The lads looked much more like the team we know.
“If anyone was going to nick a victory late in the game it was us, but I guess over the course of the 90 minutes a draw was a fair result.”
It was a generally dismal first period at Oakwell, with neither side creating much in the way of clear-cut chances.
The Iron went close in the early stages when Luke Williams smashed in a low shot that forced Adam Davies to save well down low to his left.
Former Tyke Jim O’Brien was looking lively and he twice went close to breaking the deadlock with well-struck shots.
At the other end there was almost a calamitous own goal as Iron right-back Jordan Clarke nearly sliced Ivan Toney’s cross into his own net.
Toney – who rejoined Barnsley on loan from Newcastle on Thursday – then headed wide shortly before the interval as he rose well to meet Adam Hammill’s whipped-in cross.
The hosts improved in the second half, but only marginally.
Conor Hourihane saw a superb volley blocked by Murray Wallace shortly after the restart.
Barnsley were then thwarted by two brilliant saves from the visitors’ goalkeeper Luke Daniels.
First, Hourihane saw a 20-yard piledriver tipped over the top, then Daniels somehow managed to beat away Marc Roberts’s point-blank header less than 60 seconds later.
After that, the game petered out into a stalemate, with Barnsley now sure to seek an improvement as they head to Port Vale on Monday.
Barnsley: Davies, White, Roberts, Mawson, G Williams, Scowen, Brownhill, Hourihane, Hammill, Toney, Chapman (Tuton, 65). Unused substitutes: Townsend, Smith, Nyatanga, Khan, McCourt, Harris.
Scunthorpe United: Daniels, Clarke, Mirfin, Wallace, Townsend, Williams (King, 86), Ness (Laird, 87), Hopper, Dawson, O’Brien (Adelakun, 50), Madden. Unused substitutes: Anyon, Vose, Goode, Sutton.
Referee: Darren Drysdale.