A moment of magic from the brilliant Victor Moses earned Palace a hard fought point at Selhurst after Daniel Bogdanovic had given Barnsley the lead in the first half.
The Barnsley striker's goal in the 21st minute made ammends for his glaring miss in the opening minute. One on one with the Palace keeper, following some defensive uncertainty between Jose Fonte and Claude Davis, he opened up his body to shoot round Julian Speroni but the Argentine pulled off a terrific one handed save to deny him.
Palace responded immediately by going straight back up the other end and winning a penalty. Moses twisted and turned on the left side of the box before being brought down in the area by Ryan Shotton.
The referee was in a perfect position to see the challenge and immediately pointed to the spot. Ambrose stepped up to take it but he opted for power over precision and it clipped the top of the cross bar on its way into the Holmesdale.
The Eagles continued to push in the early stages and almost had the opener on 14 minutes when Hill managed to steal a yard on his markers to meet an Ambrose corner at full steam. Aiming it across goal Luke Steele pulled off a magnificent one handed save to deny him.
Ultimately though Barnsley managed to punish Palace for their missed opportunities as Hill pondered on the ball a little too long and invited the challenge from Anderson De Silva. Unable to get the ball out his feet De Silva poked it into the path of Bogdanovic who did the rest.
Moses, who was Palace's brightest and most promising attacking threat, had a decent opportunity on 26 minutes when he managed to get in behind Shotton, but he rushed his strike from 18 yards and Steele blocked it with his chest.
It was all Palace in the final stages of the half and Barnsley had some desperate defending to thank when Ambrose swivelled and shot from 10 yards out, but they managed to see out the remaining minutes to take the half time lead.
Palace though were on level terms within six minutes of the re-start thanks to something special from Moses.
A long free kick into the Barnsley box was headed on by Lee to Moses, and with his back to goal he chested the ball up and fired past Steele with an overhead kick all in one move!
It was quite possibly one of the best goals we will ever see at Selhurst - a moment of pure genius and one to watch over and over again.
The magic almost rubbed off on one of his team mates two minutes later when Davis received the ball in the box. With his first touch he flicked it over his marker to give himself space to shoot, but with his second he blasted it over the bar in a typical centre half's manner.
Palace continued to push for the winner and boasted a series of good chances throughout the remainder of the half.
Ambrose came close first when he saw a thumping free kick from 25 yards fly over the bar, while a quick move started by a Moses throw-in almost saw Sears' low cross met at the far post but for a last ditch interception by Bobby Hassell.
Clint Hill and Alan Lee both drew comfortable saves from Steele with back post headers late on, while Speroni proved the cold had not got the better of him at the other end with a fine one handed save from a long range Emil Hallfredsson effort.
Merry Christmas from all at Crystal Palace Football Club!
Attendance: 14, 279
Crystal Palace: 1. Julian Speroni, 2. Nathaniel Clyne, 3. Clint Hill (15. Lee Hills, 90), 4. Shaun Derry, 6. Jose Fonte, 7. Darren Ambrose, 8. Neil Danns, 11. Victor Moses, 16. Freddie Sears, 19. Alan Lee (18. Calvin Andrew, 90) , 24. Claude Davis
Barnsley: 1. Luke Steele, 2. Bobby Hassell, 4. Darren Moore (cpt), 5. Hugo Colace, 10. Daniel Bogdanovic (7. Iain Hume, 49), 14. Emil Hallfredsson, 15. Anderson De Silva (25. Adam Hammill, 66) , 27. Andy Gray, 29. Carl Dickinson, 30. Ryan Shotton, 39. Nathan Doyle
Subs: 3. Rob Kozluk, 6. Stephen Foster, 8. Jamal Campbell-Ryce, 12. David Preece, 21. Jon Macken,
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