United's U18s started their pre-season campaign with a deserved 3-1 success over Chesterfield at the Redtooth Academy on Saturday.
U18 Lead Coach and Head of Player Development Travis Binnion was pleased with aspects of the performance but acknowledged that there is still plenty of hard work and improvements ahead, after seeing his side come from behind to beat the young Spireites.
Binnion remarked: "It was a decent start for us. The lads have worked really hard, as you would expect, so it was nice to see them get some time together on the pitch. We improved as the game progressed and that is understandable at this stage of pre-season.
"Chesterfield performed very well and deserve credit for how they acquitted themselves, especially in the first-half.
"We have an exciting group of players but they need to learn quickly and understand what we are trying to implement.
"We now look forward to welcome a few more older players into the squad for Stocksbridge Park Steels on Friday night, that will be a good test for us."
On Saturday, the visitors took the lead in the 20th minute courtesy of an excellent strike and for long periods looked in control at Shirecliffe.
United changed all 10 outfield players at the break and immediately put Chesterfield on the back foot from the restart.
Skipper Ioan Evans restored parity in the 51st minute, scoring from a well worked corner, before triallist Jonny Dallas converted an excellent cross from MJ Kedman in the 69th minute, following a free-flowing team move.
In the latter stages of an entertaining contest, Daniel Cockerline made sure of the win for the Blades, reacting first to score after Jason Paling's shot was saved.
The Blades are in action against Stocksbridge Park Steels at Bracken Moor on Friday night, kick-off 7.30pm.