BARNSLEY picked up a vital home win after successive defeats but their joy was marred by a red card for Bobby Hassell.
Barnsley were agonisingly denied by the woodwork following a superb sweeping move down the left.
Cywka charged down the flank before laying a neat pass into the path of Davies who controlled the ball superbly before arrowing in a low drive from 20 yards which bounced back off the base of the post with ‘keeper Heaton outstretched.
The ball rebounded back into Mellis’ path, but the young midfielder could only fire his shot wide.
Minutes later Dagnall was denied an opener. He turned sweetly just inside the box before crashing in a great shot which Heaton parried around the post for a corner-kick.
Mellis tried an acrobatic half-volley which flew a foot over.
Barnsley were producing some eye-catching combination play and none more so than from Dagnall and Mellis in the 31st minute.
There was a beautiful passage of switch passing before Mellis drove in a shot which again flew narrowly wide.
Barnsley got the goal they had deserved five minutes into the second half.
And it was a cracker as Davies fed Cranie on the right and his outswinging cross was thumped home by the head of MELLIS in off the crossbar.
The relief was palpable inside Oakwell, but it quickly turned again just two minutes later when the hosts were reduced to ten men.
Hassell lunged in on Stead two-footed just outside the centre circle, and referee Mr Rushton went straight for his red card. There were no complaints from the player or the Reds bench, so now it was to be about trying to defend their slender lead.
Bristol were piling on the pressure in the closing minutes.
Sub Davies looked particularly threatening when he came on, twice producing fine headers which beat Alnwick but also beat the post.
At the other end Cywka came close to capping an impressive performance with a goal, while sub Harewood was only denied by Fontaine’s goalline clearance.
Bristol were then dramatically denied by the woodwork as the game entered stoppage-time as Davies’ curling 25-yard free-kick struck the bar.