Barnsley suffered a fifth successive loss as they went down 2-0 at Middlesbrough on Wednesday following a very disappointing performance.
The hosts netted midway through the first half then missed a series of chances before adding another late on.
Markus Schopp's side missed a couple of good chances but were clearly second best as their winless run stretched to 11 games and they slipped to second-bottom with eight points from 13 matches.
Will Hondermarck made his first Barnsley start in place of the benched Romal Palmer while Callum Styles returned from injury to replace Toby Sibbick who was left out of the squad. Clarke Oduor replaced Victor Adeboyejo, while Obbi Oulare was on the bench and came on for his debut late on.
Hondermarck – usually a midfielder – started on the right of the back three, with Styles playing alongside Claudio Gomes in central midfield.
Barnsley should have taken the lead in the fifth minute when Sol Bamba gifted Oduor the ball and he went clean through on goal but hit the outside of the left post.
The hosts then dominated the remainder of the first half, penning Barnsley in and creating a succession of chances.
Andraz Sporar forced Brad Collins to dive to his left to gather his 15-yard effort from the left of the penalty after after a good counter-attack by the hosts.
Collins then denied Marcus Tavernier from a tight angle on the right of the box after the visiting defence was caught out by a fine Matt Crooks pass.
That resulted in two successive corners, the second of which was cleared to Paddy McNair who crossed from the left and Sporar jumped above the much smaller Styles to head into the bottom right corner about eight yards out.
Boro were then well on top, cutting open the passive Reds team regularly. Duncan Watmore cut in from the left but saw a central 15-yard effort beaten away by Collins.
It was nearly 2-0 minutes before the break but Hondermarck cleared almost off the line from Johnny Howson after a right-wing corner fell to him.
The Reds walked off lucky to be only 1-0 down after probably their worst first half of the season.
Barnsley switched to 3-5-2 at the break, with Hondermarck moving into midfield and Williams dropping to the left of the back three. Oduor moved to left wing-back with Aaron Leya Iseka and Cauley oodrow up front.
Boro's Martin Payero hit a very powerful 20-yard effort straight at Collins who pushed it away then Tavernier curled wide of the top left corner from 15 yards after good work by Watmore and Sporar.
Barnsley had their first shots on target in the 53rd minute as Woodrow's 20-yard effort was spilled by goalkeeper Joe Lumley who then denied Callum Brittain from point-blank range before Iseka fired over.
Watmore produced an extraordinary miss in the 59th minute when two home players went clean through with only Collins to beat and Payero squared to him only for the seven-yard shot to be blazed over with the goal gaping. Watmore then tried an overhead kick but the ball floated to Collins who caught it.
Substitute Adeboyejo was denied by a Lumley blocked at a very tight angle on the left then set up Woodrow who shot over from the edge of the box.
The hosts made it 2-0 late on when a left-wing free-kick was headed across goal by McNair for Crooks to rise above Jasper Moon and head in.
Barnsley (3-4-3): Collins; Hondermarck (Oulare 76), Helik, Moon; Brittain, Gomes, Styles (Palmer 62mins), J Williams; Iseka (Adeboyejo 71), Woodrow, Oduor.
Unused: Walton, B Williams, Vita, Frieser.
Yellow cards: Moon.
Middlesbrough (3-4-3): Lumley; Howson, Bamba, McNair, Peltier; Tavernier, Payero, Crooks (Siliki 90mins), Jones; Watmore (Hernandez 86), Sporar (Ikpeazu 65).
Yellow cards: Peltier.
Unused: Daniels, Olusanya, Kokolo, Coburn.
Goals: Sporar 20, Crooks 87.