Brentford 3-1 Blades - match report
David Weir's first competitive away day as Blades boss ended in defeat in the capital.
Despite Neill Collins netting with a header and George Long saving a second half penalty, 1,270 Blades fans left Brentford disappointed.
Adam Forshaw opened the scoring and Will Grigg added two but was denied a hat-trick by Long's spot-kick save.
The starting XI was again rotated with Coady and Taylor given their first league starts in the fixture at Griffin Park, although McDonald was not involved in the matchday squad.
In the new yellow and green away strip, manager Weir continued with a 4-2-3-1 formation but the personnel changed - Taylor acting as the lone frontman and Coady supporting him from the advanced midfield role.
On home turf, Brentford were the first to show initiative. Forshaw fired over after a corner was half-cleared on three minutes and Donaldson got across his marker to get to Bidwell's low cross but a deflection sent the ball just wide.
In the opening half hour there was little in terms of opportunities for the Blades, a wayward cross from Westlake wasted a chance and Brandy looked lively but the Unitedites behind Long's goal certainly made their presence felt.
However, on 35 minutes the home side took the lead as a result of Westlake's break for the Blades. Brentford utilised the space, McCormack was the dummy runner and FORSHAW had the time to execute a curling effort beyond Long's left hand.
The best chance of the half for the visitors followed, McGinn delaying his pass to enable Taylor to stay onside but the subsequent shot from the striker was over the crossbar. Before half-time Westlake picked up United's first booking for a foul on McAleny and Long's low save prevented Forshaw adding a second.
Long was also called upon in the first minute of the second period to save United again, this time his reactions were spot on to push away McAleny's effort after Logan had beaten Murphy and the goalkeeper also had to be alert with Donaldson lurking moments later.
United's first effort of the half was Brandy cutting in from the right but his left-footer was straight at Button and then space on the left for Williams caused problems but Bidwell cleared ahead of the advancing Coady.
The Blades then won two corners in succession and from the second the equaliser materialised. On 57 minutes Murphy delivered from the left and COLLINS sneaked in ahead of his marker to nod home at the front post - in front of the Blades fans.
However, United were level for just six minutes as the home side edged back in front with their next attack. McGinn was robbed by Forshaw on the edge of the box and he laid off for GRIGG to drill into the bottom corner.
Long saved from Saville following a McAleny run soon after and as the last 15 minutes approached, Weir made a double change with Porter and McFadzean introduced.
The duo, though, had little time to settle before Brentford had added a third. Forshaw was again involved, this time seeing his shot parried by Long but GRIGG was ideally placed to tap the loose ball into the unguarded net.
There was more misery for the Blades as moments later as Maguire was adjudged to have fouled Grigg in the penalty area, the referee appearing to take advice from one of his assistants before giving the penalty but the Brentford striker was denied a hat-trick by Long's spot-kick save, parrying before collecting, diving to his left.
Coady and Williams picked up late bookings and four added minutes saw the Blades on the attack without any real test on Button's goal.
Brentford: Button, Forshaw, Craig, Dean, Donaldson, Grigg (El Alagui 84), McCormack (Saunders 78), Logan, Saville, Bidwell, McAleny (Fillo 68).
Unused: Bonham, O'Connor, Venta, Reeves.
Blades: Long, Westake, Williams, Maguire, Doyle, Taylor, McGinn (McFadzean 74), Collins, Coady, Brandy, Murphy (Porter 74).
Unused: Howard, Hill, Flynn, McGinty, Whitehouse.