Sky Blues level at the break against the Tykes after respective first goals for McQuoid and Clarke cancelled out by Hourihane and Lita
Coventry City go into the break on level terms with Barnsley after Josh McQuoid's early opener and a strike from Jordan Clarke were respectively cancelled out by Conor Hourihane and Leroy Lita.
McQuoid put City ahead after just three minutes with a neat finish but Hourihane threaded a 20-yard free kick inside Sky Blues 'keeper Ryan Allsop's near post on the half hour.
Clarke then smashed home City's second after a set piece from Jim O'Brien to restore City's lead but Lita nodded home an untidy second leveller from close range on the stroke of half time.
City manager Steven Pressley named unchanged side to the one that beat Sheffield United 1-0 on Saturday.
The Sky Blues had an early scare though when John Fleck was dispossessed in City's final third by James Bailey whose through ball found Sam Winnall to put over the bar from ten yards out.
Just seconds later the Sky Blues were ahead when a short pass through to Josh McQuoid saw the striker shrug off Lewin Nyatanga and slide a cool finish past Tykes keeper Adam Davies.
It was nearly two after seven minutes when a corner delivery from Danny Swanson picked out an unmarked Andy Webster to power a header just over the bar.
City were in fact overwheklming the visitors in the opening stages and went close again three minutes later when a ball over the top picked out Jim O'Brien who fired on the half volley and watched the ball head for the near top corner until it was beaten away by Davies.
Former Sky Blue Martin Cranie was then required to make a goal line clearance after Jordan Clarke's looping header from the resulting corner threatened to drop under the bar.
O'Brien went close again two minutes before the half hour when he stepped up to take a free kick from nearly 30 yards and clipped the crossbar with Davies beaten at full stretch.
The visitors were level out of nowhere two minutes later though with a free-kick of their own. Conor Hourihane curled a dead ball around the wall and threaded it inside Ryan Allsop's near post.
Hourihane nearly got a second soon after when confusion in teh City box allowed him to slip in, only to be denied by a point blank save from Allsop.
The Sky Blues restored their lead two minutes before the break though and deservedly so. Marcus Tudgay was brought down outside the area which allowed O'Brien to swing a delivery in the box. Andy Webster and Reda Johnson pressured the ball which eventually fell loose to Clarke who blasted home from five yards out.
The drama of the first half was not finished though as Hourihane whipped a corner ball into City's area on the stroke of half time to allow Lita to nod an untidy leveller while standing just a yard offf the line.
Coventry City: Allsop, Willis, Webster, Johnson (c), Clarke, Haynes, O'Brien, Swanson, Fleck, Tudgay, McQuoid
Subs: Burge (GK), C Thomas, Jackson, Coulibaly, Daniels, Phillips
Barnsley: Davies, Brown, Dudgeon, Berrry, Nyatanga, Cranie (c), Treacy, Hourihane, Winnall, Bailey, Lita
Subs: Hemmings, Digby, M'Voto, Abbott, Dibble, Bree, Cole