United’s under 23s fought back from 2-0 down to score two second half goals in as many minutes to earn a point in their first home game of the season against Nottingham Forest.
16-year-old Antwoine Hackford, a late addition to the starting line-up after an injury to Leo Gaxha in the warm-up, got the Blades back in it before George Broadbent headed home moments later to seal a point.
It was an entertaining end-to-end encounter in which both sides sought a winner, but both went home with something to show for their efforts.
The Blades got off to the worst possible start though when Will Swan headed home a corner inside five minutes to give the visitors the lead.
United couldn’t find their rhythm and had Jordan Amissah to thank for two strong saves soon after before the game settled down.
But soon after the break, Forest doubled their lead when Virgil Gomis powered home an effort after a sweeping move, leaving the Blades with it all to do.
The comeback started when Hackford used his pace to run onto Tommy Williams’ ball in behind and fire an effort into the top corner to give the Blades hope.
Minutes later, Broadbent arrived late at the back post to head home Angelo Cappello’s superb cross from the left, the wing-back was lively all game and his crossing was a constant threat to the Forest back line.
Iliman Ndiaye was also a bright spark as United searched for a winner, his tricky footwork causing the visitors problems, but shortly after he’d won a free-kick, Forest broke up field but could only fire a tame effort at Amissah in a one-on-one opportunity.
Both sides went searching for a late winner but the big chance never came, leaving United with a hard-fought point at the end of an exciting match up.
Paul Heckingbottom: “The response was brilliant. They scored at two good times for them and we’d not really done much wrong. Over 90 minutes we played well and the pleasing thing is the boys got a result from that performance because they deserved it.
“The most pleasing thing is the character they showed to come from 2-0 down. The work rate, commitment and quite a lot of quality as well. The attitude and commitment, we expect that every time they pull on a shirt, but the quality was really good, I could watch a game like that every day.”
Blades: Amissah, To. Williams, Cappello, Gordon, Lapota, Gomis, Broadbent, Neal, Ndiaye, Maguire, Hackford.
Unused: Chapman, Hall, Brooks, Ayari.