WYCOMBE Wanderers lost for the second game in the row to one of League One’s promotion favourites after an incident-packed 2-1 defeat at Barnsley on Saturday.

Gareth Ainsworth’s men were well beaten at leaders Luton Town a few days earlier and came up short once again at Barnsley, who strengthened their grip on second place in the table.

And the ramifications of the Oakwell defeat will be felt for some time as Adam El-Abd received a straight red card for violent conduct late on which will result in a three-match ban.

Ainsworth made three changes from the side that lost 3-0 at Luton with Alex Samuel, Luke Bolton and Nick Freeman replacing Nathan Tyson, Matt Bloomfield and Adebayo Akinfenwa.

The visitors started brightly and Bolton’s early corner required a goal-line clearance from Tykes keeper Adam Davies.

Bolton then teed up Freeman whose shot deflected behind for a corner, with Barnsley still yet to settle.

However, it was Barnsley who took the lead with a Cauley Woodrow penalty on 13 minutes.

A Daniel Pinillos effort deflected wide, but Wycombe failed to clear the danger and Bolton brought down Mike Bahre, with referee Matthew Donohue pointing to the spot and Woodrow firing into the corner.

Tykes quickly grew in confidence as a long-range drive from Pinillos took a nick off a defender forcing an outstanding save from Ryan Allsop.

But Wanderers wasted a gilt-edged chance to equalise when Freeman’s first-time shot from McCarthy’s cross was blocked by the legs of Davies.

However, Wanderers were also indebted to a crucial stop by Allsop to bravely deny Alex Mowatt just before the interval.

Nevertheless, the visitors remained a threat after the break with Alex Samuel close to turning home an equaliser before Bolton fired straight at Davies.

Sadly, it was to be Bolton’s last input as he went down motionless near the corner flag after being caught by an accidental arm and was eventually replaced by Tyson.

A lengthy delay appeared to take the wind out of Wycombe’s sails and when play restarted, Cameron McGeehan stung Allsop’s hands from distance.

But Wycombe’s resistance was broken again when Barnsley doubled their lead in the 64th minute when Woodrow collected a Jacob Brown centre and fired into the roof of the net.

Ainsworth wasted little time in making a double change with Akinfenwa and Scott Kashket replacing Freeman and Paris Cowan-Hall.

Yet further chances arrived for the home side as McGeehan and Brown went close before Woodrow was denied a hat-trick by a fine Allsop save.

Even so, Ainsworth’s men refused to give up only for Davies to deny Tyson from close range.

A feisty 10 minutes of stoppage time for Bolton’s injury followed. And five minutes into that Wycombe lost El-Abd to a straight red card.

Dominic Gape went face-to-face with McGeehan and, as El-Abd looked to restrain the Tykes midfielder, the referee produced a red after consulting with the fourth official.

More drams was to follow as Wycombe pulled one back in the dying seconds, with Joe Jacobson slotting a penalty past Davies after Kashket had been tripped.

But there was no time for Wanderers to snatch a second as their winless run extended to four matches.

Barnsley: Davies, Pinillos, Lindsay, Pinnock, Cavare, Mowatt (Douglas 87), McGeehan, Bahre (Adeboyejo 86), Thiam (Hedges 63), Woodrow, Brown. Subs not used: Walton, Green, Jackson, Styles. Booked: McGeehan.

Wycombe: Allsop, Coelho Jombati, El-Abd, Gape, Jacobson, McCarthy, Freeman (Akinfenwa 67), Bolton (Tyson 61), Thompson, Samuel, Cowan-Hall (Kashket 67). Subs not used: Stewart, Bean, Bloomfield, Yates. Booked: Jacobson, McCarthy, Tyson. Red card: El-Abd.

Referee: Matt Donohue.

Attendance: 11,821.