United were back on league duty at the SteelPhalt Academy after the highs in the WFA Cup at Bramall Lane the week before.
Injuries or illnesses ruled six players out of the squad but United were still able to beat Rise Park 4-2 and overtake their rivals into second place in the table.
Winger Shannon Smith put United ahead after only seven minutes, arriving at the back post and firing into the far corner. Thus she became the 15th different United player to score this season. Rise Park came close to equalising when they hit United's crossbar and Molly Cawthorn had to head the rebounding ball off the line.
After that scare United dominated the rest of the half and kept the Rise Park 'keeper busy. Jen Pearson had two good shots tipped over and further efforts by Smith, Tania Marsden and Cara Hopkinson kept the pressure on. It was Smith again who found the net after 37 minutes with a close range finish and United continued to press.
Kim Brown's shot was also tipped over and Marsden again was denied until the last minute of the half when the latter squeezed the ball into the goal from a very tight angle to put the Blades 3-0 up at the break.
The best move of the game made it 4-0 nine minutes into the second half when Marsden and Sophie Bell combined on the right to find player-of-the-match Pearson, whose clever flick set Hopkinson up to finish.
That was no more than United deserved but things then went awry. United captain Rosa Neary had to be carried off after a heavy 50/50 tackle.
The later diagnosis was a fractured Fibula and six to eight weeks out for the very popular defender.
The lengthy stoppage seemed to lose United their rhythm for Rise Park came back into the game. Shoniqua Barnes bent a shot in for a goal back after 62 minutes and a spirited fight to defend that second place in the league was being put up. The visitors hit United's crossbar again before Carla Thornton scored their second with a long range shot after 85 minutes.
United were able to control the final minutes, though, to see out the 4-2 victory and take that second spot. Victory meant United have now won their last six and 14 out of their last 16 games but the win was tempered by the injury to United's captain.
Blades: Johnson, Brown, Neary (White), Cawthorn, Wainwright (Hall), Smith, Hartley, Pearson, Hopkinson, Bell, Marsden.