After a two-week break from competitive action United Ladies returned with a classy, high-energy performance to close the gap on the Staffordshire side to two points at the halfway stage in the league campaign.
The Blades had certainly kept themselves sharp since their WFA Cup defeat on 12th November with wins in friendly games over Huddersfield Town and the Jersey FA. The games marked the first time that newly-signed assistant manager Carla Ward could assess the potential of the current United squad.
This was the first ever meeting between the Blades and Burton, both newly-promoted and doing well, Burton one place ahead of United in the table in third.
United got off to a terrible start, though, conceding in the first minute with a diagonal ball over the defence for Charlotte Cresswell to put Burton ahead.
After that United hardly gave the visitors a sight of goal and steadily got into their passing rhythm. It took 20 minutes to cancel the goal out and that came from a shot from Jen Pearson, inside the box. The game was played at high tempo and as the half wore United began to force more corners and go closer to finding the lead.
Around the half hour Tania Marsden put United ahead, her first shot was parried and she was able to slot in the ball at the second attempt. The same striker then made it 3-1 five minutes later with another one of her bustling drives on goal, shrugging off a challenge to finish well. Rosa Neary nearly added to the score at one of the corners United forced but her shot was blocked on the line. 3-1 at the break.
As seen before this season United came out for the second half and found top gear, almost completely dominating possession and playing some of the best passing football all season. Just after the hour Marsden made it 4-1 and completed her fine hat-trick, put through by substitute Evie Robinson and blasting the ball home.
Robinson had come on to replace the hard-working Holly Barker at right-back was enjoying going forwards and fired in the fifth goal from just outside of the box to add the icing on United's cake with 10 minutes to go. Marsden nearly had her fourth when her volley crashed off the bar and goal line but it stayed 5-1 and a very impressing high energy but controlled all round performance.
Manager Dan O'Hearne summed up: "A totally dominant display today where for long spells we were totally unplayable. Every player stepped up a level and we worked together to get our just rewards."
Assistant Carla Ward backed up the praise with: "Since coming in, the girls have been absolutely brilliant. We have demanded intensity and quality and I felt they showed that. I couldn't be prouder of them, every single player stuck to the game plan and we got the rewards."
The win also takes United's unbeaten league run to 10 games and will resume league action away to Solihull in mid-January. The only game before then is a County Cup tie at Oughtibridge on 17th December.
Blades: Houldsworth, Beanland, Neary, Marshall, Barker (Robinson), Bell (Shaw), Spurr, Hartley, Brown (Kenyon), Marsden, Pearson.