Knudsen header wins it for Town
Jonas Knudsen’s first goal of the season was enough to give Town the points at Portman Road.
The Denmark international flashed a header into the net from a corner early in the second-half to edge Blues in front.
Bersant Celina and Martyn Waghorn both went close to extending the lead for Town while former Blue, Kieffer Moore, hit the bar for Barnsley in the first-half.
Barry Cotter came in for his Town debut, with Adam Webster and Luke Chambers both ruled out through injury.
Adam Hammill had a free-kick deflected over in the first exchanges and from the corner, Moore smashed a header against the bar as the visitors started on the front foot.
Town responded with Myles Kenlock’s header across goal cleared by Adam Jackson, then at the other end Bart Bialkowski did well to force out Zeki Fryers’ cross that beat everyone.
Cole Skuse released Celina down the left but Muzzy Carayol couldn’t make the cross pay, Jordan Spence clearing as Moore lurked behind him, then the impressive Cameron Carter-Vickers shadowed the danger from Moore to safety.
Brad Potts found the sidenetting from a great position after Hammill had released him inside the box, Cotter showing a neat touch for Town at the other end to open up a cross aimed at Waghorn but Liam Lindsay cleared.
Callum Connolly fired over at the near post from a corner, then Celina blazed over from a gilt edged chance on the half hour after a sublime touch from Carayol and then an excellent pass from Waghorn.
Cotter was just over with a rocket at the far post after beginning the move with a 50 yard crossfield pass, the January signing from Limerick clearly enjoying himself on his debut.
Hammill, always a danger, had the final opening of the half, cutting inside Skuse but his effort from 15 yards was smothered away by the Town defence in an even 45 minutes.
Adam Davies held on from Kenlock’s cross as the second-half got underway, Oliver McBurnie rifling over for Barnsley, Bialkowski then dealing with Hammill’s cross.
Skuse volleyed wide but on 54 minutes Town were ahead, Knudsen losing his marker at a corner and flashing a header into the far corner.
Jackson headed over as Barnsley looked to respond before Town made a first change with Cotter receiving a great ovation as he was replaced by Grant Ward. Barnsley making their own move with Ryan Hedges on for Lloyd Isgrove.
Ben Folami entered the fray soon after, Carayol making way, the Town striker looking to get on the end of Celina’s chip within a minute of coming on.
Tom Bradshaw replaced Hammill, Bialkowski saving comfortably from Hedges’ 25 yarder, then Ward well wide after Town broke at pace with Celina setting him up.
Waghorn was wide with a left footer on the run, Davies saved from Celina at the far post then the Barnsley ‘keeper was equal to the task under a challenge from Waghorn.
Skuse hooked the ball over the bar as Town looked to tie the game up, Moore off target for the Tykes with a header, Waghorn much closer for Blues from Ward’s cross.
Moore had a shot blocked from close range two minutes from time, Mallan failing to force the rebound home as Town held on for a first win in seven games.
Town: Bialkowski, Spence, Knudsen, Cotter (Ward 55), Carter-Vickers, Kenlock, Connolly, Skuse, Carayol (Folami 59), Celina, Waghorn. Subs not used: Crowe, Hyam, Sears, Nydam, Gleeson. Booked: Knudsen.
Barnsley: Davies, Fryers (Mallan 81), Lindsay, Hammill (Bradshaw 63), Isgrove (Hedges 55), McBurnie, Yiadom, Jackson, Moore, Potts, Gardner. Subs not used: Walton, McCarthy, Pinnock, Mahoney. Booked: Yiadom.