Jason Shackell pounced on a loose ball to pull Barnsley level after Kevin McNaughton's weak clearing header.
Tykes keeper Luke Steele saved a Peter Whittingham penalty, after Stephen Foster's handball, but Seyi Olofinjana forced home the resulting corner.
Whittingham curled an early long-range free-kick over the crossbar for the Bluebirds, but there were limited chances early in the first half.
Barnsley's only efforts on goal in the opening 20 minutes were two 25-yard shots from Diego Arismendi, the second blocked by visiting defender Mark Hudson.
The Tykes went closer to lighting up a poor spectacle when Garry O'Connor headed Kieran Trippier's 33rd-minute free-kick narrowly wide.
But it was Cardiff who broke the deadlock three minutes before the interval with a rare moment of class that was rounded off by Bellamy - making his first appearance back from a five-game absence due to knee trouble.
That long-standing problem saw him left out of the Wales squad named on Friday for next week's Euro 2012 double-header against Bulgaria and Switzerland.
But cleared for Championship action, the on-loan Manchester City forward claimed his second league goal of the season.
Whittingham, who expertly controlled a raking cross-field pass, laid off the ball to Bothroyd on the edge of the penalty area and he then deftly slipped the ball onto Bellamy, who slotted into the bottom corner beyond Steele.
Cardiff thought they had scored a second soon after the break, but Gabor Gyepes' goal-bound header from a corner was flicked over the goal line by Bothroyd only for the Cardiff striker to be flagged offside.
Barnsley hauled themselves level soon after when Shackell rammed home his second goal of the season, after Jim O'Brien's corner fell kindly for him in the area.
Cardiff squandered the chance to regain the lead seconds after the restart when Barnsley skipper Foster was deemed to have handled Whittingham's corner.
The Cardiff midfielder then saw Steele save his subsequent penalty, which was blasted too close to the Tykes goalkeeper who saved with his legs.
But the Welshmen went back in front 60 seconds later when Hudson headed Bellamy's corner back across goal and the ball was turned home by Olofinjana from close range.
Olofinjana headed against the post in the 70th minute from another Whittingham corner.
Berkshire referee Trevor Kettle dismissed Darcy in the 82nd minute after his challenge on Adam Hammill earned him a second booking.
Barnsley pressed home their man advantage and it looked as though they would snatch a point when Hammill burst through, only for Cardiff keeper Tom heaton to pull of a fine save.
Live text and stats
Saturday, 2 October 2010
Home Team Score Away Team Time Barnsley 1-2 Cardiff FT (HT 0-1) Shackell 63 Bellamy 42 Olofinjana 67 Barnsley 01 Steele 03 McEveley 04 Shackell 06 Foster 15 Trippier 08 O'Brien 14 Hammill yellow card 20 Colace 23 Arismendi yellow card (Butterfield 90) 09 O'Connor 39 Wood (Gray 58) Substitutes 12 Preece, 19 Butterfield, 22 Potter, 05 Doyle, 10 Lovre, 18 Neumann, 27 Gray Cardiff 22 Heaton 02 McNaughton 03 Naylor 05 Hudson 06 Gyepes 07 Whittingham 11 Burke yellow card 20 Olofinjana yellow card 23 Blake two yellow cards, red card 09 Bothroyd yellow card 39 Bellamy Substitutes 01 Marshall, 14 Quinn, 04 Rae, 10 McPhail, 19 Koumas, 28 Wildig, 17 Keogh Ref: KettleAtt: 11,211 BARNSLEY CARDIFF Possession Barnsley 59% Cardiff 41% Attempts on target Barnsley 4 Cardiff 3 Attempts off target Barnsley 6 Cardiff 3 Corners Barnsley 6 Cardiff 8 Fouls Barnsley 9 Cardiff 18 Final Result Full Time 90:00+4:58 The referee ends the match. 90:00+4:35 Luke Steele restarts play with the free kick. 90:00+4:35 Booking Jay Bothroyd goes into the referee's book for unsporting behaviour. 90:00+4:29 Jay Bothroyd gives away a free kick for an unfair challenge on Jacob Butterfield. 90:00+1:04 Centre by Adam Hammill. 89:56 Andy Gray concedes a free kick for a foul on Tom Heaton. Free kick taken by Tom Heaton. 89:01 Substitution Jacob Butterfield on for Diego Arismendi. Correction - 88:19 Seyi Olofinjana makes a clearance. 88:19 Seyi Olofinjana manages to make a clearance. 88:19 Booking Chris Burke is cautioned. Correction - 88:17 Corner from the left by-line taken by Jim O'Brien, 88:17 Inswinging corner taken by Jim O'Brien from the left by-line, 88:00 Shot from 25 yards by Adam Hammill. Save by Tom Heaton. 87:31 Free kick awarded for a foul by Lee Naylor on Diego Arismendi. Direct free kick taken by Luke Steele. 83:17 Tom Heaton restarts play with the free kick. 83:17 Booking Diego Arismendi goes into the book for unsporting behaviour. 82:55 Free kick awarded for an unfair challenge on Seyi Olofinjana by Diego Arismendi. 81:40 Free kick crossed by Kieran Trippier, Jay Bothroyd makes a clearance. 81:40 Sent off Darcy Blake is shown a red card. 80:21 Free kick awarded for an unfair challenge on Adam Hammill by Darcy Blake. 77:58 Diego Arismendi challenges Craig Bellamy unfairly and gives away a free kick. Free kick crossed by Craig Bellamy, save made by Luke Steele. 76:47 Kevin McNaughton challenges Garry O'Connor unfairly and gives away a free kick. Centre by Jay McEveley, Header from close range by Stephen Foster clears the bar. 75:55 Stephen Foster takes the direct free kick. 75:55 Booking Darcy Blake receives a caution for unsporting behaviour. 75:43 Diego Arismendi fouled by Darcy Blake, the ref awards a free kick. 75:05 Mark Hudson gives away a free kick for an unfair challenge on Andy Gray. Direct free kick taken by Jay McEveley. 73:29 Centre by Jim O'Brien, Header on goal by Garry O'Connor from inside the box goes harmlessly over the target. Correction - 72:52 The referee blows for offside. Free kick taken by Luke Steele. 72:52 The referee blows for offside. Luke Steele restarts play with the free kick. 72:17 Stephen Foster fouled by Jay Bothroyd, the ref awards a free kick. Stephen Foster takes the free kick. 71:40 Shot from inside the area by Jim O'Brien clears the bar. 69:34 Lee Naylor crosses the ball, clearance by Jay McEveley. Inswinging corner taken left-footed by Peter Whittingham from the right by-line, Header by Seyi Olofinjana from inside the area hits the post. 66:32 GOAL - Seyi Olofinjana:Barnsley 1 - 2 Cardiff Seyi Olofinjana fires in a goal from close in to the bottom right corner of the goal. Barnsley 1-2 Cardiff. 66:10 Inswinging corner taken by Craig Bellamy. 65:56 Inswinging corner taken left-footed by Peter Whittingham from the right by-line, clearance made by Diego Arismendi. 65:45 A save by Luke Steele from penalty by Peter Whittingham. Barnsley 1-1 Cardiff. 64:06 Inswinging corner taken by Peter Whittingham from the right by-line. Handball decision goes against Stephen Foster. 62:57 GOAL - Jason Shackell:Barnsley 1 - 1 Cardiff Jason Shackell finds the net with a goal from inside the penalty box to the bottom left corner of the goal. Barnsley 1-1 Cardiff. 62:29 Jim O'Brien decides to take the corner short. 62:21 A cross is delivered by Adam Hammill, clearance made by Kevin McNaughton. 61:34 Jay Bothroyd is ruled offside. Direct free kick taken by Luke Steele. 60:36 Inswinging corner taken from the left by-line by Kieran Trippier, clearance made by Seyi Olofinjana. 59:35 Free kick awarded for an unfair challenge on Jim O'Brien by Kevin McNaughton. Free kick crossed left-footed by Jay McEveley, save by Tom Heaton. 57:01 Substitution Andy Gray comes on in place of Chris Wood. 56:48 Effort from the edge of the area by Chris Burke goes wide of the right-hand post. 55:13 The referee blows for offside against Jay Bothroyd. Free kick taken by Luke Steele. 54:25 Inswinging corner taken right-footed by Craig Bellamy from the left by-line to the near post. 53:36 Foul by Kieran Trippier on Craig Bellamy, free kick awarded. Jay Bothroyd has a direct shot on goal from the free kick, save by Luke Steele. 52:54 Jay McEveley concedes a free kick for a foul on Chris Burke. Kevin McNaughton takes the free kick. 51:55 Jim O'Brien sends in a cross, clearance by Mark Hudson. 49:26 Corner taken by Peter Whittingham from the right by-line, Diego Arismendi makes a clearance. 47:40 Free kick crossed by Jay McEveley, Lee Naylor manages to make a clearance. 47:40 Booking Seyi Olofinjana goes into the referee's book. 47:23 Seyi Olofinjana concedes a free kick for a foul on Hugo Colace. 46:42 Foul by Peter Whittingham on Diego Arismendi, free kick awarded. Kieran Trippier takes the direct free kick. 46:02 Centre by Jay McEveley. 45:01 The second half begins. Half Time 45:00+2:50 The match has reached half-time. 45:00+1:20 Peter Whittingham delivers the ball from the free kick left-footed from right wing. 45:00+1:20 Booking Booking for Adam Hammill for unsporting behaviour. 45:00+1:13 Free kick awarded for an unfair challenge on Chris Burke by Adam Hammill. 43:32 Seyi Olofinjana gives away a free kick for an unfair challenge on Jim O'Brien. Shot on goal comes in from Adam Hammill from the free kick, save by Tom Heaton. 41:56 The assist for the goal came from Peter Whittingham. 41:56 GOAL - Craig Bellamy:Barnsley 0 - 1 Cardiff Goal scored by Craig Bellamy from the edge of the penalty box to the bottom right corner of the goal. Barnsley 0-1 Cardiff. 39:47 Effort on goal by Chris Wood from just inside the area clears the bar. 39:07 Handball decision goes against Lee Naylor. Free kick taken by Luke Steele. 37:47 Corner taken left-footed by Jay McEveley from the right by-line, clearance made by Gabor Gyepes. 37:33 Lee Naylor challenges Jim O'Brien unfairly and gives away a free kick. Diego Arismendi restarts play with the free kick. 33:33 Jim O'Brien fouled by Lee Naylor, the ref awards a free kick. The ball is swung over by Kieran Trippier, Header on goal by Garry O'Connor from inside the box goes harmlessly over the target. 32:07 Chris Wood is ruled offside. Tom Heaton restarts play with the free kick. 31:07 Corner taken by Adam Hammill, Kevin McNaughton manages to make a clearance. 28:57 Chris Burke fouled by Jay McEveley, the ref awards a free kick. Direct free kick taken by Mark Hudson. 27:00 Inswinging corner taken by Peter Whittingham from the right by-line played to the near post, clearance by Garry O'Connor. 25:19 Seyi Olofinjana gives away a free kick for an unfair challenge on Garry O'Connor. Jason Shackell crosses the ball from the free kick left-footed from left channel, Gabor Gyepes makes a clearance. 24:30 The referee blows for offside against Chris Wood. Tom Heaton restarts play with the free kick. 23:48 Jason Shackell fouled by Jay Bothroyd, the ref awards a free kick. Free kick taken by Luke Steele. 22:14 Jim O'Brien fouled by Seyi Olofinjana, the ref awards a free kick. Jim O'Brien crosses the ball from the free kick right-footed from right wing, clearance made by Lee Naylor. 20:02 Diego Arismendi takes a shot. Mark Hudson gets a block in. Corner taken by Jay McEveley from the right by-line, Tom Heaton makes a save. 19:46 Centre by Kieran Trippier, Jay Bothroyd makes a clearance. 19:03 Kieran Trippier fouled by Craig Bellamy, the ref awards a free kick. Kieran Trippier takes the free kick. 18:55 The ball is swung over by Adam Hammill, clearance by Mark Hudson. 18:01 Garry O'Connor challenges Gabor Gyepes unfairly and gives away a free kick. Tom Heaton restarts play with the free kick. 16:53 Diego Arismendi has an effort at goal from outside the area which goes wide left of the target. Correction - 15:58 Corner taken by Craig Bellamy, Stephen Foster makes a clearance. 15:58 Inswinging corner taken from the left by-line by Craig Bellamy, Stephen Foster manages to make a clearance. 14:31 Hugo Colace fouled by Darcy Blake, the ref awards a free kick. Adam Hammill takes the free kick. 13:55 Garry O'Connor is ruled offside. Kevin McNaughton takes the free kick. 12:49 Diego Arismendi delivers the ball, Mark Hudson makes a clearance. 11:39 Garry O'Connor handles the ball and concedes a free kick. Free kick taken by Lee Naylor. 5:57 Jim O'Brien sends in a cross, clearance by Seyi Olofinjana. 4:23 Jay Bothroyd is ruled offside. Luke Steele takes the free kick. 4:00 Hugo Colace is penalised for a handball. Direct free kick taken by Lee Naylor. 2:27 Free kick awarded for a foul by Hugo Colace on Seyi Olofinjana. Peter Whittingham shoots direct from the free kick. 0:00 The match has kicked off. Live text and data provided by The Press Association.