Barnsley’s disappointing Sky Bet League One run continued as they were defeated at this season’s cup heroes Bradford City.
The Reds rarely threatened the Bantams’ goal as they lost 1-0, meaning Lee Johnson’s side are now without a victory in nine games.
The Reds have one last chance to secure what would be a huge morale-boosting win when they take on Rochdale next Sunday in their final game of the season.
There was precious little goalmouth action during a largely uninspiring first half from the Reds and the Bantams.
A group of Barnsley fans walked from Oakwell to Valley Parade in memory of the Bradford fire disaster victims of 1985.
And following an impeccably-observed minute’s silence , the Reds did start the game well.
Conor Hourihane tested ‘keeper Ben Williams early on, before Lewin Nyatanga glanced a header inches wide from a pinpoint Hourihane cross.
It was probably against the run of play when the Bantams scored in the 17th minute.
It was a clinically-taken strike, though, with Jon Stead volleying home his 13th goal of the season as he charged in to meet Billy Knott’s cross.
Christopher Routis went close a minute later as the Bantams threatened to run riot, but the Reds weathered the mini-storm.
Billy Clarke almost doubled Bradford’s lead late in the first half when he fired inches wide.
The Reds started the second period encouragingly, with Luke Berry finding space in the box before disappointingly dragging a low shot wide.
Bradford almost doubled their lead just as the game entered its final quarter. Billy Clarke floated over a free-kick, but the unmarked Routis headed over the top.
Bradford (4-1-2-1-2): Williams; Darby, Davies, Liddle, Meredith; Clarke; Routis, Knott; McMahon; Stead, Hanson.
Subs: Urwin, dolan, Sheehan, Yeates, Haiilday, Webb-Foster, Mottley-Henry.
Barnsley (4-5-1): Davies; Holgate, Nyatanga, Cranie, John; Scowen, Berry, Pearson, Hourihane, Digby; Ibehre.
Subs: Wildsmith, Oates, Williams, Maris, Cowgill, Bree, Lalkovic.
Referee: Scott Mathieson (Stockport).