Match ends, Barnsley 0, Preston North End 0.
Barnsley failed to score for a fourth successive home game as they were held to a goalless draw by Preston.
The visitors created the better chances and went close to scoring in the first half when Jordan Hugill's shot at the end of a counter-attack hit the post.
The hosts did not manage an effort on target until the last 10 minutes.
But when they did, Preston goalkeeper Chris Maxwell saved superbly from both Harvey Barnes and Stevie Mallan within 60 seconds of each other.
The closest the Tykes had previously gone was when Gary Gardner fired over from Tom Bradshaw's lay-off.
Their last Championship goal at Oakwell came from Zeki Fryers in a 2-0 win over Birmingham on 4 November. They have now gone nine games without a win since that victory over Blues.
Barnsley were playing their first home game since being taken over by a consortium including a Chinese billionaire and baseball pioneer Billy Beane, who inspired the Hollywood film 'Moneyball'.
But this draw, coupled with defeats for all four teams below them, means Paul Heckingbottom's side remain fifth from bottom but three points clear of the bottom three.
In contrast Preston, who also saw Hugill loop another effort over the bar, are now unbeaten in eight and remain in the hunt for a play-off place, four points behind sixth-placed Sheffield United.
Barnsley first team coach Jamie Clapham:
"It was a classic Boxing Day fixture. It was high energy, passionate game. It was enjoyable to be on the sidelines watching it.
"Preston are a good, solid team and their expectations will be to be in and around the play-offs.
"Their keeper made some good saves. I think we were on top in the first 15 minutes, then they really came into the game. In the second half I think there was only one team who looked like scoring, but it wasn't to be so we will take this point.
"The positive thing is the performance of the players. Over the past three games, the performance levels have risen to where we know they can be."
Preston North End manager Alex Neil:
"Tom Barkhuizen got into three good areas with chances to slide Jordan Hugill in, but he chose to either shoot or he fired it in without the pace or detail on it that it needed.
"Jordan himself hit the post with one and these are the margins between winning and losing. We've won a lot of games 1-0 this year because we score that chance when we get it.
"It was an old-fashioned game and we had chances in the first half, but in the second half we weren't creative enough in front of goal.
"We know we need to add more goals, I've said this for the past few weeks.."
- 4WilliamsBooked at 90mins
- 11IsgroveSubstituted forBarnesat 75'minutes
- 15WoodsBooked at 9minsSubstituted forBrowneat 79'minutes
- 23HuntingtonBooked at 12mins
- 12GallagherSubstituted forHarropat 60'minutesBooked at 77mins
- 7HorganSubstituted forMavididiat 69'minutes
- Geoff Eltringham
- Shots on Target
Second Half ends, Barnsley 0, Preston North End 0.
Offside, Preston North End. Chris Maxwell tries a through ball, but Tom Barkhuizen is caught offside.
Joe Williams (Barnsley) is shown the yellow card.
Stephen Mallan (Barnsley) wins a free kick on the right wing.
Foul by Daniel Johnson (Preston North End).
Foul by Jordan Hugill (Preston North End).
Andy Yiadom (Barnsley) wins a free kick in the defensive half.
Attempt missed. Joe Williams (Barnsley) right footed shot from outside the box is too high.
Attempt saved. Stephen Mallan (Barnsley) right footed shot from outside the box is saved in the top centre of the goal. Assisted by Ezekiel Fryers.
Attempt saved. Harvey Barnes (Barnsley) right footed shot from outside the box is saved in the bottom left corner. Assisted by Stephen Mallan.
Foul by Josh Harrop (Preston North End).
Gary Gardner (Barnsley) wins a free kick in the defensive half.
Ben Pearson (Preston North End) wins a free kick on the left wing.
Foul by Stephen Mallan (Barnsley).
Attempt missed. Tom Bradshaw (Barnsley) header from the centre of the box misses to the left. Assisted by Adam Hammill with a cross.
Corner, Preston North End. Conceded by Adam Davies.
Delay over. They are ready to continue.
Substitution, Preston North End. Alan Browne replaces Calum Woods.
Josh Harrop (Preston North End) is shown the yellow card for a bad foul.