Leicester’s play-off hopes were dealt another major blow as they suffered a third straight league defeat at Barnsley.
Nigel Pearson’s side have slipped from second to seventh having failed to win in March and just once in their last 10 outings, with the loss at Barnsley their third straight league defeat.
A Michael Keane own goal and a strike from on-loan striker Chris O’Grady, before Jason Scotland missed from the spot, were enough for the Tykes.
The hosts got off to a flying start when full-back Scott Wiseman surged past two blue shirts before delivering a fizzing cross which was turned into his own net by the unfortunate Keane after just four minutes.
Scotland looked to have doubled the advantage moments later when he turned in O’Grady’s low ball but the referee’s assistant had already raised his flag.
The instrumental O’Grady netted five minutes before the break when he steered a cool finish beyond Foxes skipper Kasper Schmeichel following a neat interchange with Scotland.
Fears that the hosts may become complacent after the restart were soon quelled when Paul Konchesky rather clumsily fouled David Perkins inside the penalty area.
Scotland stepped up to take it but his strike did not befit his lengthy run up as he rolled a tame effort down the middle and into the feet of Schmeichel, who steered it away.
Perkins then turned to celebrate a third goal after a melee in the box only to see the flag raised for the second time.
Blues substitute Jeffrey Schlupp was next to question Andy D’Urso and his officials after his strike was ruled out for offside, completing a treble of disallowed goals.
Luke Steele then fumbled a looping ball against his own crossbar before recovering well to block Schlupp’s effort on the line.
The visitors piled forward in the final stages but found no way past Steele and his dogged defence as Flitcroft’s men survived a late onslaught to climb back out of the drop zone at the first attempt.