BY MAX HALL
The Dons didn’t have enough to get anything at home to in-form Barnsley but should have found themselves in front just before the break, when striker Jake Jervis somehow blazed wide of a yawning goal.
Wimbledon fell behind from a Mamadou Thiam corner in the 19th minute, which came through a crowded area to Cauley Woodrow to the right of goal and the striker set himself and sent back a blistering half volley which gave Dons keeper Aaron Ramsdale no chance.
Ramsdale, who had already made two good stops, had to spectacularly tip over a rising drive from Alex Mowatt in the 21st minute.
The Dons roared back into it 10 minutes before the break when Andy Barcham wickedly curled a free-kick from the left flank into the Barnsley box and Joe Pigott appeared to get the slightest of touches with his head to glance it into the right-hand side of the net.
The fired-up Dons twice went close as Will Nightingale tested Tykes keeper Adam Davies and the resulting Barcham corner saw centre-back Paul Kalambayi send a header over.
The hosts should have been ahead in the 44th minute when Jervis missed a gaping net from inside the six-yard box after a Pigott cross, and Barnsley substitute Kenny Dougall – on for the injured Woodrow – drew a brilliant reaction save from Ramsdale at the other end in a pulsating finish to the first half.
Deji Oshiljaja stormed into the Barnsley area and squeezed a shot across goal two minutes after the break but Barnsley were back in front in the 52nd minute, as Kieffer Moore buried a perfect glancing header past a diving Ramsdale from Mowatt’s right-wing cross.
The visitors wrapped up the points in the 66th minute, Moore nutmegging Kalambayi and advancing into the area to find Thiam, who lashed the ball past an exposed Ramsdale into the top left-hand corner.
Barnsley thought they had a fourth 15 minutes from time, when a scramble from a corner saw the ball headed goalwards and appear to come back off the roof of Ramsdale’s net but, without VAR and with no flag from the assistant referee, the Dons escaped.
The respite lasted until the 91st minute, when Thiam’s cross from the left was headed down by Jacob Brown in the six-yard box for Cameron McGeehan to bury it from close range.
Wimbledon (4-4-2): Ramsdale, Watson, Kalambayi, Thomas, Seddon, M Pinnock, Nightingale, Oshilaja, Barcham (Connolly, 60), Jervis, Pigott (Wordsworth, 69). Subs not used: McDonnell (GK), Wagstaff, Hartigan, Garratt, Wood.
Barnsley (4-4-2): Davies, Cavaré, E Pinnock, Lindsay, Williams (Pinillos, 68), Brown, McGeehan, Mowatt, Thiam, Woodrow (Dougall, 42), Moore (Adeboyejo, 80). Subs not used: Greatorex (GK), Hedges, Green, Jackson.