It was a bitterly disappointing afternoon for United's U23s as they slipped to a heavy defeat at the hands of Coventry City in the Professional Development League at Shirecliffe on Tuesday.
A penalty from Ben Whiteman proved nothing more than scant consolation for the Blades, as the Sky Blues ran out worthy winners. Trialist Chris Burke played 90 minutes in front of the watching management team, whilst Caolan Lavery completed just under an hour on his first action in red and white. Fellow trialist Reece Brown missed the game through illness.
United began brightly and after a purposeful run by Lavery, Whiteman forced Addai into a save at his near post at the expense of a corner.
But with their first attack of note, Coventry took the lead in the 13th minute. From Stevenson's near post cross from the right, MCBEAN got across Semple to prod home from close-range. In response, the Blades had appeals for a penalty waved away as Lavery appeared to have his legs clipped by a retreating defender as he prepared to shoot.
The visitors continued to enjoy the better of the game and doubled their advantage in the 36th minute. Thomas took control of the ball in midfield before releasing Devon Kelly-Evans who weaved his way through the United backline to leave MCBEAN the easiest of tap ins from six yards out.
Before half-time the hosts looked for a way back into the game, with Burke stinging the palms of Addai at his near post, before trying to catch the goalkeeper out from distance with no luck. But it was City who came closest to scoring again before the interval, as Stevenson hit the post on the rebound after Ramsdale had denied the hat-trick seeking McBean.
Things went from to worse for the Blades at start of the second-half and City scored a third in the 49th minute as STEVENSON cut in from the right and beat two defenders before firing home with his left foot. That sparked a double change four minutes later, with Lavery and Chapman replaced by Hallam and K. Smith.
On the hour, the Blades gave themselves a potential lifeline as WHITEMAN fired home from the penalty spot after Hallam had been upended having got on the end of Burke's knockdown. But hopes of a comeback were quickly ended with 18 minutes remaining, as THOMAS combined with Haynes before confidently beating Ramsdale to restore City's three-goal advantage.
And five minutes later the visitors added a fifth, SHIPLEY was left with a simple tap in after more good work by the lively Devon Kelly-Evans. A disappointing afternoon from the Blades ended with substitute Hallam shooting wide from a promising position in the box.
Blades: Ramsdale, Charlesworth, A. Brown, Whiteman, Cummings, Semple, Burke, Reed, Lavery (Hallam 53), Brooks, Chapman (K. Smith 53).
Unused: Graham, Perryman, Gilmour.