United's U18s got their season off to the perfect start with a win at Imperial Sports College against QPR. An own goal from QPR's Joseph Gubbins and a strike from Reon Potts during the first half were enough during a performance where the Blades had to do their fair share of defending.
During an uneventful first half, chances were few and far between until Gubbins turned the ball into his own net before Potts put a gap between the teams with a strike right on half-time.
The first part of the first half was a tetchy affair with any kind of chances few and far between. The opening goal on 22 minutes was actually the first chance of note for any side.
Some neat interplay led to Sam Kelly bursting down the right and putting in a dangerous enough cross that centre-back Gubbins could only stretch and send the ball beyond his own goalkeeper.
The goal gave United vigour and despite a shot smashed just wide of the near post by Khaliq Callendar that was as good as it got for the hosts in the first half.
United had a half chance to double their lead with five minutes until the break when Zak Brunt saw a shot blocked before captain Harrison Neal saw his follow up shot saved.
Fellow centre-back Tom Weaver had an even better chance when he headed wide from a corner before Potts doubled the lead. Brunt felt he was fouled inside the box but picked himself up to sweep in a cross that Potts promptly slotted into the bottom corner.
The second half was largely one-way traffic as QPR tried to find a way back into the game but despite plenty of pressure they rarely troubled Sam Kelly in the United goal until the final seconds.
Dillon Da Silva's fizzed cross saw Kelly have to push the chance away before striker Jake Frailing flashed an effort wide of the far post but United's defence stood resolute to the test during a tough final 45 minutes.
But QPR did get a goal back with the final action of the game. After Kelly was adjudged to have held the ball too long, a free-kick eventually came to Nathaniel Orafu in the box who slotted home.
Blades: Kelly, Williams, Foulstone, Neal, Weaver, Gordon, Kelly (Ackroyd 79), Broadbent, Potts, Brunt (Belehouan 90), Ompreon (Viggers 90).
Unused: Dewhurst, Skeritt.