United's U21s slipped to a 2-0 defeat at the hands of Derby County at Moor Farm on Wednesday afternoon, despite a creditable performance.
Ayrton Wassall and Michael Hoganson netted either side of the break for the Rams, whilst Joe Ironside had a late effort ruled out for offside.
After a quiet opening to the contest, it was the hosts who seized the advantage in the 21st minute when WASSALL beat goalkeeper Willis with a speculative, wind assisted effort from 25 yards.
Within the next ten minutes, United had two sights of goal. Firstly Barry saw his goalbound header cleared off the line, before Chapell came within a whisker of rippling Deeney's net with a stinging drive from the edge of the area.
Moments before half-time United came even closer to levelling up proceedings, Tonne's 30 yard free-kick looked in all the way until a timely intervention from Deeney and the Blades were unable to convert the rebound.
The second half began promisingly for the visitors, but they fell further behind in the 54th minute when HOGANSON hammered home a free-kick from fully 35 yards to double the Rams advantage.
In the last half hour, the Blades continued to try and force themselves back into the game and late on Ironside was adjudged to have been in offside position when applying the finishing touch to a well worked move, before Tonne stung the palms of Deeney for the second time.
Speaking afterwards, Chris Morgan was left frustrated and disappointed with the result, but keen to draw on the positives from the performance, commenting: "I am tired of praising the lads after the game when they don't have any reward for all their efforts because they are getting a bit down.
"Derby scored both goals through having the confidence to shoot from long range and that unfortunately has been the difference of late. We aren't ruthless enough when we are dominating games and the lads need to be more clinical to get positive results.
"Despite that, man for man I feel we have got more out of the last two matches in terms of developing our players, than our opposition. Ultimately these games are used to get these players ready for the first-team, if the manager needs to call upon them."
Blades: Willis, Hodder (Scarisbrick 81), M. Williams, Harriott, Kennedy, Barry (Pemberton 64), Chapell, Whitehouse, Ironside, Smith, Tonne (McDonagh 76). Unused: Khan, Owen.