United's U21s began their league campaign with a deserved point against Birmingham City at St Andrew's on Monday.
Joe Ironside put the visitors in front on the stroke of half-time, only for Reece Hales to equalise on the hour mark.
United controlled much of the first half hour and in the 36th minute Chris Morgan's men took the lead. IRONSIDE scrambled the ball home from close range following Ryan Flynn's low delivery from the right.
Birmingham struggled to get a foothold in the first period and Howard easily saved from Chris Burke, his only save of the first 45 minutes.
After the break the Blues started on the front foot with both Darren Ambrose and Olly Lee going close to a leveller.
The hosts continued to press on and restored parity in the 60th minute, Burke's corner from the left was headed back across goal by Lee and HALES diverted past Howard.
Lee was proving to be a constant threat to the Blades defence in the second period and Howard had to produce a fine save to deny him netting a winner with eight minutes remaining.
Despite City pushing on, United defended stoutly to deservedly take home a share of the spoils.
Speaking after the stalemate, Chris Morgan said: "First and foremost it was extremely useful to utilise the facilities of playing at St Andrew's and getting four senior lads a full game was another plus.
"It was also a good experience for the youngsters like Jake (Eyre) and Julian (Banton) playing against some good professionals and a stadium like St Andrew's."
Blades: Howard, Hodder, Banton, Higginbotham, Hill. Flynn, Smith (Cockerline 81), Whitehouse, Johns, Ironside, Eyre (Khan 71).
Unused: Willis, Ptak, Dimaio.