Both sides struck the woodwork, with Fleetwood’s Josh Morris crashing a free-kick against the crosbar in the 89th minute.
Fleetwood enjoyed the clearer chances, and after just 10 minutes Gareth Evans was clean through one-on-one with Adam Davies, but the Barnsley goalkeeper saved well with his legs.
At the other end, Dale Jennings came close when he found himself in acres of space, but the former Bayern Munich youngster allowed Nathan Pond time to charge back and block his shot.
Stephen Dobbie missed three other decent chances for the Cod Army, while Barnsley’s five-goal midfielder Conor Hourihane fired wide from the edge of the box as it remained goalless at the break.
The visitors produced an encouraging start to the second period. Devante Cole wriggled free of his marker, but crashed a shot inches over the top from 18 yards.
The woodwork then saved the hosts when Jennings lashed in a super strike from 20 yards which struck the outside of a post.
Still the visitors pressed hard for that elusive opening goal, but Kane Hemmings was next to be denied as he fired tamely at goalkeeper Chris Maxwell.
Evans relieved some of the pressure on Fleetwood when he broke clear of the Barnsley back four, only to lash a shot well wide.
Fleetwood: Maxwell, McLaughlin, Pond, Jordan, Crainey, Blair, Schumacher, Morris, Evans, Dobbie (Ball 69), Proctor. Unused substitutes: Davies, Murdoch, Roberts, Sarcevic, Hogan, Hughes.
Barnsley: Davies, Brown, M’voto, Nyatanga, Dudgeon, Berry (Winnall 90), Hourihane, Cranie, Jennings (Noble-Lazarus 88), Hemmings (Lita 79), Cole. Unused substitutes: Digby, Abbott, Bree, Dibble.
Referee: D Bond (Burscough).