Ched Evans and Kieron Freeman both played an hour as United's U23s slipped to defeat in their final group game in the Premier League Cup.
But despite the loss on Wednesday afternoon, United still progress to the last 16, where they will face Derby County at Stocksbridge.
The game's first chance came on seven minutes as some quick play in the middle of the park led to Doherty sending through Smith, but his shot hit the side netting.
It would be the visitors who drew first blood however just two minutes later as a stray pass was latched upon by Mooney and he found ODUTAYO who coolly slotted past Eastwood.
A quiet 25 minutes followed with a header from Smith that was comfortably saved being the most noteworthy action.
Villa would have a great chance to double their lead as they would again capitalised on a short pass, but Williams fired just wide of the target.
United's best opportunity of the half came just before it's end as Mallon picked up the ball, drove into the box and played a low cross along the face of goal with Evans inches away from turning it home.
Shortly after the interval the Blades would have the ball in the net but Semple's header from Colville's corner was ruled out as the referee spotted a foul in the area.
With 20 minutes remaining United would come desperately close to an equaliser, as Broadbent's strike from 25 yards cannoned off the post.
As the game entered the final 10 minutes United came close again as Colville's corner evaded everyone in the six yard box including Doherty who was a toe away from turning home.
Blades: Eastwood, Freeman (Broadbent 60), Mallon, Graham, Heneghan (Oure 45), Semple, Gilmour, Doherty, Evans (Parkhouse 60), Colville, Smith.
Unused: Dewhurst, Portman.