Second half goals from Lee Novak and Ollie Banks gave Chesterfield a huge away win at play-off chasing Barnsley, even with Jamal Campbell-Ryce sent off.Goal-less in the first half, Novak atoned for a glaring first-half miss with a fine back post header to give the Spireites the lead before the hour, levelled by Adam Hammill's deflected long-ranger on 75 minutes.
With 81 minutes gone and Campbell-Ryce sent off for a second yellow card, Banks amazingly gave the Spireites the lead again as he smashed home Gboly Ariyibi's lay back to secure three precious away points.
Chesterfield looked fired up from the start, and there was an immediate delay after Campbell-Ryce flew in with a great challenge, winning the ball but injuring Connor Hourihane in the process.
The early pressure was all on the hosts as the Spireites looked to grab an early goal. Airiybi and Campbell-Ryce were looking dangerous on the wings as they drove forwards with pace, but the visitors were mindful of the Barnsley counter attack.
The game’s first chance fell to Lloyd Isgrove as he was put through one-on-one with Lee on the break. The Southampton loanee missed the chance, but his blushes were spared by the lineman’s flag.
However, it was the Spireites who came closest to breaking the deadlock. The Tykes’ defence froze as the ball trundled towards Ariyibi who hit it first time on the turn, firing inches wide with the 'keeper beaten.
Chesterfield were carving out the best chances of the game, and missed a golden chance on the half-hour mark. Ariyibi was played in on the left, flashed the ball across the face leaving goalkeeper Adam Davies helpless, however, Lee Novak missed the target from three yards.
The Spireites again went close moments later. Jay O’Shea whipped in a free-kick, and Tom Anderson forced a good save from Davies.
And they might have been made to rue those missed chances when Isgrove picked out Sam Winnall in the area, but he could only fire straight at Lee.
Barnsley were producing their best football just before the break, and Lee was forced into another fine save when Hammill whipped a ball in which Isgrove dummied.
At the other end, Ariyibi drove an effort wide on the break before O’Shea hit a free-kick wide in what was the last chance before half time.
Barnsley started the better of the two sides in the second half, and some intricate passing play would have seen them take the lead, but Anderson stood firm with a last-ditch tackle.
The Tykes were then aggrieved not to have been awarded a penalty when Winnall’s shot appeared to hit the arm of Talbot, but the referee waved away their appeals.
While on the counter Banks stuck a volley wide. However, it wasn’t long before the Spireites took the lead. Ariyibi was picked out on the break, he floated the ball into the area via a deflection and Novak was on hand to head across goal and into the far corner.
It was a goal that the visitors merited after their first half efforts, however they almost surrendered it immediately. The lively Isgrove worked his way into the area and struck the post with Lee beaten.
Winnall then went close with a carbon copy of Chesterfield’s goal at the other end, but Lee dived well to save Lee was having a man-of-the-match performance and again produced a top class save to stop a powerful Winnall effort from the edge of the area.
The pressure was all on Chesterfield’s goal now as Barnsley looked for a goal to save their play-off hopes. Substitute Ivan Toney thought he should have been awarded a penalty, while Alfie Mawson headed just over.
However, it wasn’t long before the home side found their goal. Last week’s Wembley hero Hammill surged forward on the break and hit a strong deflected effort that looped over the helpless Lee.
Things went from bad to worse moments later when Campbell-Ryce picked up a second yellow card for a late tackle on Aidy White.
Yet, the Spireites didn’t seem to miss him as they retook the lead. The impressive Ariyibi did the legwork beating a man in the area before pulling it back to Banks who smashed the ball past Davies.
It was a goal they deserved after refusing to sit back following Campbell-Ryce’s dismissal, but Barnsley were still looking dangerous.
One half of Oakwell thought they had snatched a second equaliser when Hourihane let fly, but he only found the side netting.
As stoppage time loomed Chesterfield were hanging on for their lives. First Hammill saw hit shot blocked on the line by Talbot following a mazy run into the area, before Sam Hird scrambled Marc Roberts’ header onto the post before the Spireites cleared.
The final moments saw Josh Brownhill and Hourihane hit long range efforts well over as the Spireites saw out the final few moments to claim a priceless three points in their bid to steer clear of relegation.
Barnsley: Davies (gk), Bree, Roberts, Mawson, White (Chapman 90'), Isgrove (Toney 63'), Hammill, Hourihane (c), Fletcher (Watkins 63'), Brownhill, Winnall
Subs not used: Townsend, Scowen, Nyatanga, Williams
Chesterfield: Lee (gk) - Talbot, Hird, Anderson, Raglan - Ariyibi, Banks, Liddle (c), O'Shea, Campbell-Ryce - Novak (Slew 90')
Subs not used: Chapman (gk), Herd, Ebanks-Blake, Dimaio, Donohue, Orrell
Barnsley: Hammill 75'
Chesterfield: Novak 57', Banks 81'
Attendance: 10,645 (1,028 Chesterfield fans)