The Reds, in Danny Wilson’s first game back at the helm, even overcame the dismissal of Marcus Tudgay - for a late challenge on Marius Zaliukas - with five minutes remaining to claim a point.
It means Barnsley have now been beaten just once in seven meetings with Leeds since the West Yorkshire club returned to the Championship in 2010. United have lost four of those games.
Wilson’s men were full value for their point, too, even if Jack Butland was the busier of the two goalkeepers.
The first half had seen Leeds start strongly and miss a couple of excellent chances, most notably when Matt Smith had a shot saved at point blank range by Jack Butland on four minutes.
Smith could consider himself unfortunate on that occasion but that wasn’t the case eight minutes later when he fluffed a shot after being played into a marvellous position by Ross McCormack.
At that stage, Leeds looked like dominating but, soon,.Barnsley had started to exert more and more pressure, meaning by the interval that the visitors were the ones sorry to hear Keith Stroud blow his half-time whistle.
Marcus Tudgay was guilty of missing the Reds’ best chance on 39 minutes, the loanee seeming to have done the hard part by muscling Marius Zaliukas off the ball only to then shoot wide.
It was a big-let for Leeds, who were also grateful to Paddy Kenny for getting his positioning spot on when asked to tip over a Tudgay header.
Both sides continued to be frustrated after the break with Danny Pugh’s cross almost deceiving Butland and flying into the net just 39 seconds after the restart.
The England Under-21 international goalkeeper also denied Ross McCormack, while at the other end Jacob Mellis could only fire into the side-netting when presented with a great chanece by a wayward Sam Byram clearance.
Jim O’Brien was equally wasteful 14 minutes from time as Kenny was allowed to save before Tudgay’s rash challenge on Zaliukas saw the Reds reduced to ten men.
It didn’t, though, make any difference as Wilson’s side held on to claim a point - much to the delight of their 1,118 fans in a bumper crowd of 31,031.