United's U18s were soundly beaten by Nottingham Forest at Shirecliffe on Friday.
The Blades competed well in the opening 45 minutes, but conceded four poor goals after the break with three coming in the space of just seven minutes shortly after the hour mark. Daniel Cockerline scored a consolation goal with five minutes remaining, which was the least his efforts deserved.
Forest quickly seized the initiative and took the lead in the fourth minute. Poor marking from a set-piece from the left KARO with a free header and he gave Ramsdale no chance from close range.
United responded positively to going behind, but despite chances falling the way of Hinchliffe and Slew, it was Forest who came closest to a second goal when Gamblen saw a long range free-kick hit the post.
On the stroke of half-time, United nearly levelled through Brooks , but Dearle in the visitors goal managed to tip the goalbound effort round the post.
The second-half started well for the Blades, but after conceding for a second time in the 63rd minute when THOMAS stole in unmarked at the back post, Forest went on to completely dominate.
THOMAS helped himself to a second moments later in what was a carbon copy of his first, before he turned provided to tee up MCDONAGH as the Blades defence fell apart.
With the game beyond the hosts, THOMAS completed his hat-trick in the 82nd minute, before COCKERLINE poked home from inside the area after Dearle had saved Burton's initial effort.
Coach Travis Binnion acknowledged after the game that United had been second best, he remarked: "Forest were better than us and we were well beaten.
"But we looked bright in the opening 45 minutes and on another day could have been in front at half-time, but you can't afford to just fizzle out like we did in the second-half and give three goals away that all mirrored each other.
"The players need to get the basics right, because at the moment we are just giving goals and subsequently games away."
Blades: Ramsdale, Charlesworth, Kelly, Ramsey, Evans (Semple 45), Adebowale, Smith (Hutchinson 70), Hinchliffe, Cockerline, Brooks, Slew (Burton 70).
Unused: Eastwood, Ishmail.