United's U23s notched an impressive victory in the Premier League Cup on Monday afternoon against Championship opposition.
A first-half brace from Jake Wright, including the opening goal from the penalty spot and a strike from Stephen Mallon saw the Blades run out worthy winners against the Royals at Adams Park, despite a second-half goal from Tyler Frost.
The win leaves United on five points from four matches, ahead of a double header against Birmingham City later this month.
The Blades went in front in just the third minute as WRIGHT despatched a penalty after Brooks had been fouled in the box.
And a minute later, United doubled their advantage, with MALLON clipping the ball over a stranded Ward, after the goalkeeper had made a poor clearance from a back pass.
In response, Novakovich looked certain to pull one back for the Royals having rounded Eastwood, but Bennett managed to get back and clear the ball of the line with an excellent last-ditch intervention.
Ward, trying to atone for his early mistake denied Brooks, but was powerless to prevent the Blades making it three on the stroke of half-time, as WRIGHT powered home a header from a left-wing corner.
The opening exchanges of the second period were scrappy, but when called upon the Blades defended resolutely, that was until FROST pulled one back for the home side, firing home a low effort with 23 minutes remaining.
Despite Rinomhota and Richards having opportunities in the final minutes, the Blades held on comfortably to secure a valuable three points.
Blades: Eastwood, Bennett, Mallon (K. Smith 84), Graham, Kelly, Cummings, Slater, Reed, Wright, Brooks (Hallam 54), T. Smith (Charlesworth 67).
Unused: Warhurst, Hirst.