United's women's team endured a tough night at home to promotion favourites Manchester United but never disgraced themselves against the recent Continental Cup semi-finalists.
Carla Ward had to make one enforced change to her side with Ebony Salmon ineligible while there were places on the bench for several development team players with a whole host of first team players unavailable.
Unfortunately, the Blades couldn't have got off to a worse start. A corner inside the opening 20 seconds was taken short to Katie Zelem, the midfielder wasn't closed down and therefore had the time to curl home the opener within a minute.
It left Ward's side with a mountain to climb against a team which has lost just once all season but the Blades held their own for the next 25 minutes and restricted Casey Stoney's side to half chances.
A moment of solo quality from Lauren James put the visitors 2-0 up just before the half hour mark before a more than dubious penalty led to the third just before half-time.
It looked like Danielle Cox had made a brilliant tackle to deny James, but the referee pointed to the spot and Ella Toone stepped up to make it 3-0.
The hosts though competed much better and ensured the score remained respectable after the break.
Chloe Dixon and Alethea Paul both attempted efforts from range but United were never really able to test Siobhan Chamberlain.
A fourth came in the early stages of the second half when Toone turned provider to tee up the in-form Mollie Green for a close range header and while Stoney's side hit the crossbar in stoppage time, the Blades did well to restrict them to four during a demanding evening at Legacy Park.
Blades: Davies, S. Barker, Tierney, Pennock, Cox, Gilliatt, Rayner, Paul, Dixon, Cusack, Sarri (H. Barker 69).
Unused: Joyce, Hartley, B. Marsden.