Barnsley remained bottom of the Championship after their first league game of 2022 brought a 2-1 loss at Birmingham City.
The hosts took the lead late in the first half with their first shot on target after the visitors had come close on several occasions. They then doubled their lead early in the second half before Victor Adeboyejo replied late on.
Barnsley were better than in some recent matches, with some good individual performances, but ultimately conceded poor goals and again struggled to take their chances against a side who were 18th and winless in seven.
The Reds are now winless in nine league games since November 3 while head coach Poya Asbaghi has not won any of his first seven league games – the joint longest wait for a first victory of a Barnsley boss since the 1950s.
They are still eight points from safety with two games in hand on fourth-bottom Reading who also lost today.
Michal Helik was fit to play after injury but Callum Brittain, Josh Benson, Clarke Oduor and Remy Vita were unavailable after Covid-19 and injuries had restricted the Reds to just 14 players earlier in the week.
Three potential league debutants were on the bench with Jason Sraha, Cameron Thompson and Aiden Marsh, the 18-year-old from Monk Bretton.
The Reds played 4-2-3-1 with Victor Adeboyejo, Callum Styles and Carlton Morris the attacking midfielders from right to left behind lone striker Aaron Leya Iseka.
The hosts should have taken the lead in the second minute when Brad Collins dropped a cross by Onel Hernandez and former Barnsley loanee Gary Gardner's shot from the edge of the box looked destined for the net but Lukas Jutkiewicz chested it onto the bar then was flagged offside.
Styles – on his 100th game for the Reds – got the ball off Adeboyejo in the eighth minute and cut in from the right to hit a shot from the edge of the box in plenty of space which Neil Etheridge dived to his left to save well.
Styles then won the ball in the 15th minute just outside the home box and Adeboyejo turned on the right of the area then unleashed a powerful shot from 15 yards which was impressively touched over by Etheridge.
Birmingham's teenage midfielder Jordan James then missed two decent chances within a minute midway through the half. He headed across goal and wide eight yards out when unmarked from Ryan Woods' cross. Then Collins kicked a clearance straight to Jutkiewicz just outside the box and he passed to James to shoot over.
Barnsley then broke from a Birmingham corner and, after passes exchanged by Claudio Gomes and Iseka, Adeboyejo played Morris in on the left and his deflected 12-yard shot was blocked by the legs of Etheridge.
Jutkiewicz then headed over a long throw by former Barnsley captain Marc Roberts.
The opener arrived in the 35th minute when Jutkiewicz beat Andersen in the air from a long ball then it dropped to him in space to play Hernandez in behind the defence and the Cuban sprinted clear of Jordan Williams before beating Collins one-on-one. It was the hosts' first shot on target.
James' 25-yard shot was easily saved by Collins then the goalkeeper punched out a corner before catching a Kristian Pedersen header that was floating into his top left corner.
The hosts doubled their lead six minutes into the second half when Ryan Woods' left-wing corner was missed by Collins and hit Morris which left Scott Hogan with a simple tap-in.
Styles almost made it 2-1 but, under pressure from defenders six yards out, he shot wide of the bottom left corner after Gomes got the ball off Adeboyejo and burst past a defender into the box from the right before pulling the ball back.
Collins then easily saved a Jutkiewicz header before, at the other end, Helik sent a bicycle kick onto the post from 15 yards out after a free kick was punched out.
Adeboyejo pulled one back on 85 minutes, firing into the bottom left corner from 12 yards after a free-kick fell for him.
Cameron Thompson then came on for his league debut, replacing Styles who had picked up a knock.
Birmingham (4-4-2 diamond): Etheridge; Colin, Roberts, Mengi, Pedersen; Woods, Gardner (Friend 90+3), James (Sunjic 68mins), Hernandez; Jutkiewicz, Hogan. Unused: Trueman, Friend, Bela, Campbell, Bellingham, Sunjic, Graham.
Goals: Hernandez 35, Hogan 51.
Barnsley (4-2-3-1): Collins; J Williams, Helik, Andersen, Kitching; Palmer (Moon 76mins), Gomes; Adeboyejo, Styles (Thompson 89), Morris; Iseka (Cole 64).
Unused: Walton, Hondermarck, Sraha, Marsh.
Yellow cards: Moon.
Goals: Adeboyejo 85.