Fleetwood 0-0 Blades - out on penalties
The Blades were eliminated from the Johnstone's Paint Trophy at the Northern Area quarter-final stage following a penalty shoot-out defeat at Fleetwood Town.
Following a 0-0 draw, where Fleetwood went closest with an effort which struck the crossbar in the 90th minute, the home side recorded a 4-1 penalties win.
Boss Adkins made wholesale changes with just Long and Sammon keeping their places from the FA Cup success at the weekend.
There were chances galore in the opening ten minutes. Jonsson headed over for the home team and Matt scuffed an effort at Long, who was also alert to keep out McManus. United, with the aid of the wind in the first half, forced Maxwell into two parried saves, from Woolford and Sammon.
The chances tailed off but the frantic start continued as United attempted to use the wind to control the action. Woolford's first-time effort looked goalbound but was deflected wide and both Done and Sammon looked to get the ball under control close to Maxwell's goal. On 39 minutes, James Wallace also tried his luck with a first-time effort, this time from 35-yards, and was a yard wide.
There was time for one more Blades attack before the interval. In injury-time, another break from Scougall saw Sammon beat Maxwell but Pond cleared at the expense of a corner, which was also repelled by the home side.
Like the first half, the second started with a host of chances - kicking off with Haughton volleying at Long after just 15 seconds! The Blades goalkeeper also cut out a dangerous cross from Haughton, whilst in the same move Bell fired wide.
United's travelling fans appealed for a penalty when Ryan and James Wallace clashed, before two good chances for the visitors in the space of a couple of minutes. Kennedy volleyed just wide after a Woolford corner flew through a melee of bodies and Scougall's shot was clawed away by Maxwell.
With little over 20 minutes remaining, the Blades made a double change with Hammond and Sharp taking over from James Wallace and Sammon, but one of Fleetwood's substitutes, Hunter, forced Long into a save on 77 minutes.
Baxter replaced Reed for the final ten minutes but again it was the home changes who went close late on. Grant clipped into the hands of Long and, on 89 minutes, Hunter's half-volley from 20 yards came back off the crossbar before United could clear, which proved to be the last opportunity before the penalty shoot-out.
PENALTIES (Fleetwood first)
Grant - scored - 1-0
Baxter - scored - 1-1
Ball - scored - 2-1
Sharp - saved - 2-1
Ryan - scored - 3-1
McEveley - saved - 3-1
Haughton - scored - 4-1
Blades lost 1-4 on penalties
Fleetwood: Maxwell, Jonsson, Pond, Bell, Ryan, Matt (Ball 58), Forbes (Grant 83), McManus (Hunter 71), Haughton, Teixeira, Davis.
Unused: Sowerby, Gogic.
Blades: Long, J Wallace (Hammond 71), Done, Scougall, Woolford, Sammon (Sharp 71), McEveley, Reed (Baxter 80), Kennedy, K Wallace, McGahey.
Unused: Howard, Freeman.