Match ends, Walsall 0, Barnsley 1.
Barnsley boosted their hopes of automatic promotion as Jacob Brown's stoppage-time goal gave them victory at Walsall.
Brown fired the ball through keeper Liam Roberts' legs after his first effort was blocked when it looked like they would have to settle for a third successive goalless draw.
The win extended second-placed Barnsley's unbeaten run in League One to 19 games and they also recorded a seventh clean sheet in a row.
Walsall, though, could feel themselves hard done by, after creating the better chances and having a goal disallowed in the first half for a foul in the build-up before Isaiah Osbourne volleyed home.
They also went close after the break when Corey Blackett-Taylor squeezed the ball past keeper Jack Walton, only for Ben Williams to stretch and hook it off the line.
Barnsley boss Daniel Stendel had Cameron McGeehan and Brown back from suspension, but they were unable to impose themselves in midfield and Cauley Woodrow was an isolated figure up front for much of the game.
After Blackett-Taylor's near miss, both Josh Gordon and the lively Zeli Ismail were thwarted by the feet of Walton, playing his first game since mid-November, in the space of a minute.
Woodrow was denied by Roberts after finally creating an opportunity for himself from Mamadou Thiam's ball into the box.
But the Saddlers keeper was unable to keep out Brown's effort as the Tykes claimed a crucial win, which left them four points clear of Portsmouth and five ahead of Sunderland, who have two games in hand, with Walsall remaining in the relegation places.
- 30OsbourneSubstituted forCookat 90+4'minutes
- 4DobsonBooked at 82mins
- 10IsmailSubstituted forFerrierat 89'minutes
- 6LindsayBooked at 41mins
- 21BähreSubstituted forStylesat 68'minutes
- 8McGeehanSubstituted forAdeboyejoat 76'minutes
- 26ThiamSubstituted forGreenat 84'minutesBooked at 89mins
- 33BrownBooked at 90mins
- Ben Toner
- Shots on Target
Second Half ends, Walsall 0, Barnsley 1.
Corner, Barnsley. Conceded by Nicky Devlin.
Substitution, Walsall. Andy Cook replaces Isaiah Osbourne.
Jacob Brown (Barnsley) is shown the yellow card for excessive celebration.
Goal! Walsall 0, Barnsley 1. Jacob Brown (Barnsley) right footed shot from the centre of the box to the bottom left corner.
Attempt blocked. Jacob Brown (Barnsley) right footed shot from the centre of the box is blocked.
Foul by Callum Styles (Barnsley).
Morgan Ferrier (Walsall) wins a free kick on the right wing.
Substitution, Walsall. Morgan Ferrier replaces Zeli Ismail.
Jordan Green (Barnsley) is shown the yellow card for a bad foul.
Foul by Jordan Green (Barnsley).
George Dobson (Walsall) wins a free kick in the defensive half.
Substitution, Barnsley. Jordan Green replaces Mamadou Thiam.
Foul by Victor Adeboyejo (Barnsley).
Isaiah Osbourne (Walsall) wins a free kick on the left wing.
George Dobson (Walsall) is shown the yellow card for a bad foul.
Dimitri Kevin Cavaré (Barnsley) wins a free kick on the right wing.
Foul by George Dobson (Walsall).
Jacob Brown (Barnsley) wins a free kick in the attacking half.