A very youthful United U18s side slipped to defeat at Shirecliffe at the hands of Leicester City on Saturday.
In a fantastic opening half hour Jahmal Smith opened the scoring for United, who should have extended their advantage, before City equalised from a corner on the stroke of half-time. The young Blades ran out of steam in the second period to leave the result with a harsh look to it.
Speaking after the game, Lead Coach Jamie Hoyland was in philosophical mood, he is delighted to see his older players progressing through to the U21s, but says results in the U18s are suffering as a result:
"We were fantastic in the first-half, right up to the final kick when they have scored from a set-piece. A truer reflection of the opening 45 minutes would have seen us leading 3-0 at the break.
"The lads have then got caught straight after half-time and after about 70 minutes we really hit a wall and it became a struggle.
"Leicester were vastly experienced, a really strong and physical side and unfortunately they were just a bit much for such a young team to handle.
"Since I arrived we haven't been able to name the same team twice, whilst I am delighted to see the lads progressing through into the U21s it is certainly affecting our results on a Saturday morning, but at the same time it is good experience for the U16s who are stepping up.
"What we have to accept is we are thin on the ground, but we aren't results driven and if the lads development keeps moving in the right direction then I will be more than happy."
After a bright start that had seen Coustrain, Heather and Evans all go close; SMITH opened the scoring, demonstrating fantastic strength to beat off three defenders before firing home.
Unfortunately for the Blades, they didn't make their first-half dominance count and the game turned on its head after two goals for the visitors either side of the break. As the game progressed the Foxes got stronger and with United tiring they netted a further two goals in the final 15 minutes.
Blades: Owen, Paling, Ptak (T. Williams 64), Khan (Wright 73), Scarisbrick, Whiteman, Evans, Dimaio, Heather, Smith, Coustrain (McDonagh 71).