The Reds stayed second bottom of the Championship as two first half goals cost them in a 2-0 loss at Wigan Athletic on Tuesday night.
Young right-back Ryan McLaughlin was put back into the team earlier than expected after injury, due to a problem with Jack Hunt, and looked totally unfit and off the pace as both goals came from his flank.
McLaughlin was nowhere to be seen as Jean Beausejour beat Jim O'Brien and Martin Woods on the left before firing in a cross which Nicky Maynard tapped in on 36 minutes.
It was 2-0 just before the break when James McLean exploited McLaughlin's failings yet again and floated in a cross that was superbly headed home by Martyn Waghorn.
Danny Wilson took off McLaughlin and top-scorer Chris O'Grady at half-time and brought on Brek Shea and Lewin Nyatanga, who played at left-back with Tom Kennedy going to right-back.
It was a much quieter second half as Wigan seemed to settle for the 2-0 win and Barnsley struggled to create clear-cut chances.
Yeovil's draw at home to Watford keeps them bottom of the league but they are just one point behind the 23rd-placed Reds who are five adrift of Millwall with the Lions set to visit Oakwell on Saturday.