United's youngsters exited the FA Youth Cup, despite a valiant display at Bramall Lane on Wednesday evening.
Zak Brunt's late goal saw United push Fulham all the way at S2, despite playing well over an hour of the tie with ten-men following the dismissal of Andre Brooks moments after the visitors had took the lead.
After a quiet opening, it was the Blades who had the first sight of goal. Jebbison chased hard down the left channel and his cross wasn't cleared properly by McAvoy which allowed Gaxha to tee up Brunt, but he dragged an effort wide from the edge of the penalty area. At the other end, Fulham crafted an even better opportunity. Drameh got in down the right and his cross saw Ablade turn and shoot, but thankfully his shot when wide of Kelly's far post.
And on 22 minutes it was the visitors who went in front. A long ball over the top was latched onto by TIEHI, he rounded the onrushing Kelly, before sliding the ball calmly into the empty net. Moments later, things went from bad to worse for United, as Brooks was instant given a straight red by referee Simpson, following a challenge on Carvalho.
As the half hour ticked by Tiehi came close again, before O'Neill fired a ball across the face of Kelly's goal and luckily evaded everyone. Fulham were dominating possession and territory, forcing Geary into a tactically change that saw Maguire replace Cullinan, as the Blades switched to a 4-4-1 formation.
Earlier in the second-half, Thiei appeared to raise his hands into the face of Gordon, but despite a stoppage and a debate between the officials, the incident passed without a card being brandished. On the hour, Brunt nearly capitilised on some indecision between Murphy and McAvoy, but his effort was saved by Las.
Fulham came close to adding a second from a left-wing corner, but thankfully for United, Murphy's deflected looping header hit the crossbar and bounced to safety. But on 69 minutes, a swift counter attack resulted in the visitors doubling the advantage. Carvalho and Jasper combined for DRAMEH to take a touch before lifting the ball over Kelly from close-range.
Ten minutes remained, when United made a double change, introducing Ackroyd and Ayari in a positive switch and it paid instant dividends as BRUNT pulled a goal back with the aid of a deflection which wrong footed Las. The goal had given the Blades a visible lift, but from a promising position Boyes sliced an effort wide.
Four minutes of added time were indicated, moments after Las had denied Boyes with a dipping volley. Williams won a free-kick as O'Neill was booked for handball, Fulham saw out the final few moments to deny the battling Blades.
Blades: S. Kelly, Williams, Gomis, Neal (Ackroyd 80), Gordon, Cullinan (Maguire 36), Gaxha (Ayari 80), Brooks, Jebbison, Brunt, Boyes.
Unused: Hiddlestone, Foulstone, Viggars, Seriki.