Kelvin Etuhu was controversially sent off after 77 minutes as Barnsley drew 0-0 at home to Brighton on Saturday.
Etuhu was continuing his good run out of position at right-back until he was shown a yellow card for a shoulder barge on Kazenga Lua Lua – a decision that Reds boss Danny Wilson called 'crap' and 'not even a foul' – then was rightly booked again one minute later for tripping the same player.
Barnsley were the better team but the sending off killed their momentum to an extent. They still stretched their unbeaten run to three games and moved a point closer to fourth-bottom Charlton who lost at home to Reading. The sides below them, Yeovil and Millwall, both won as did Birmimgham but Blackpool and Doncaster lost and stay within touching distance of the Reds, who host Burnley on Tuesday.
Wilson made one change to the side that won at Reading and Yeovil with the injured Marcus Pedersen being replaced by Ryan McLaughlin who played on the right of midfield with Tomasz Cywka joining Chris O'Grady up front.
There were hardly any chances in the first half bar a few long-range shots. The first time either side went close was on 53 minutes when McLaughlin headed Tom Kennedy's cross against the bar.
Jean Yves M'voto should have scored from a Kennedy cross but headed just wide from eight yards out on 70 minutes. The same pair combined again after the red card when the French defender headed straight at the Brighton goalkeeper with a more difficult chance.
The Seagulls only threatened the home goal with long-range shots and did not come close in the last quarter of an hour despite their man advantage.