United's U23s slipped to a narrow defeat against Birmingham City at Shirecliffe on Thursday afternoon.
In an even game, the Blues shaded it courtesy of a first-half goal on the counter attack, but coach John Dungworth was encouraged by the application of the young Blades on show.
He remarked: "It was a game that neither side really managed to dominate. Birmingham sat back and hit us on the break in the first-half and after the break we had chances to get at least a point.
"We had a young side out there and they did very well in the circumstances. We had nine scholars in the team and it will only aid their development in the long-term.
"But at the same time we're disappointed that we didn't manage to get something from the game."
Slater had just seen a shot saved by Trueman, when the Blues caught the Blades on the break to opening the scoring midway through the first-half.
United responded positively after the break and Trueman again denied skipper Slater, before producing an even better stop to save instinctively from Doherty. At the other end, McCoy hit the woodwork.
The Blades continued to press for an equaliser, with the best chance coming right at the end, when Cantrill head over the crossbar when unmarked in the box.
Blades: Eastwood, Bennett, Harrington, Doherty (Hawkes 76), Donald (Ford 61), Cantrill, Slater, Gilmour, Hirst, Greaves (Charlesworth 53), T. Smith.
Unused: Warhurst, Ferguson.