But the Tykes’ season is up and running after they dramatically overhauled the 1-0 deficit to beat Crewe.
Leroy Lita and Martin Cranie both struck following Billy Waters’s goal for the home side, leaving manager Danny Wilson in an understandably upbeat mood.
He said: “We started the game off brightly, and I was taken back when they scored the goal – not by the quality, it was a fantastic goal, but it came out of the blue.
“I thought we were pushing ourselves, and we were comfortable.
“We got the ball down and passed it well. We got in the key areas and looked a threat.”
The travelling Reds’ faithful were in terrific voice at the final whistle now that their team have lift-off following blanks in their opening two fixtures. Victory sets up Wilson’s men perfectly for their midweek trip to Coventry.
Crewe teenager Waters’s volleyed strike was the undoubted highlight of the first half.
Bradden Inman went close to a second for the hosts, but Barnsley in the 56th minute grabbed the equaliser they deserved.
Sam Winnall’s low hammered shot across goal from the right eluded goalkeeper Scott Shearer and Lita tapped in at the far post.
The visitors scored again in the 75th minute, captain Cranie heading into the roof of the net from Lewin Nyatanga’s prodded cross.
Crewe Alexandra: Shearer, Tootle, Dugdale, Ray, Leigh (Guthrie 90), Waters, Grant, Inman (Molyneux 74), Ness, Turton (Haber 81), Oliver. Unused substitutes: Atkinson, Garratt, Saunders, Nolan.
Barnsley: Davies, Brown, Nyatanga, Cranie, Dudgeon, Berry, Bailey, Hourihane, Treacy (Bree 72), Winnall (Oates 89), Lita (Digby 78). Unused substitutes: Mvoto, McHale, Boakye-Yiadom, Dibble.
Referee: A Davies (Hampshire).
Man of the match: Martin Cranie.