United overcame old rivals Steel City Wanderers in a hard-fought Sheffield and Hallamshire County Cup quarter-final.
The two clubs first met in United`s first ever competitive fixture back in September 2002. City, from the league above and the one United are aiming to join for next season, had four former United players in their ranks started as slight favourites.
United, though, are in great form and have been boosted by two key signings in the form of experienced pair Nat Foggatt and Christina Skull, both returning to the club after breaks from playing.
Playing at the FA's new St George's facility at Thorncliffe City, once United had began to thread a few passes together Skull forced City's 'keeper into a low save and Tania Marsden had a shot clip the outside of a post. The goals started after 16 minutes when United gained an indirect free-kick just inside the City box, Jen Pearson laid off to Kim Brown who neatly placed her shot home for 1-0.
City responded straight away with former United striker Zoe Beresford pouncing on a loose ball to shoot City level. There wasn't much to choose between the two teams and both defences did well protecting their respective goalkeepers. At the closing stage of the half Beresford had another clear chance but guided her shot wide. United had one last attack in injury time and when Pearson put Marsden through to finish with good technique, firing over the 'keeper to restore United's lead.
The second half was quite lively to say the least, Beresford hit United again after 47 minutes to make it 2-2 and was a threat to her old team all game. This was the best phase of the game from a footballing aspect as both teams were enjoying the perfect playing surface with neat passing.
On 56 minutes United's left back Cara Hopkinson slid a pass through to Lucy Darbyshire to burst into the City box and fire in United's third and what would prove to be the winning goal.
United continued to make the better chances, Hopkinson forcing the City 'keeper into another smart low save, Pearson had a shot blocked by the black and white-striped defenders and Rachel Ruddach's on target shot was deflected by her own player Marsden and just over the bar.
As the half wore on, though, the game became increasingly scrappy and even tetchy at times. Long serving city winger Lucy Smith had a good chance to equalise late on but shot over and United played the final minutes out to secure the win.
The two returning players, Skull and Froggatt, settled straight back in and will be big assets to the squad in the push for promotion and the two remaining cups. This weekend United return to league duty with a game at the Academy against strugglers Notts County Development.
Blades: Johnson, Brown, Cawthorn, Froggatt, Hopkinson, Bell, Skull (Carroll), Ruddach, Pearson, Darbyshire, Marsden.