United's women's team fell to a valiant 3-1 defeat against top tier Bristol City in the FA WSL League Continental Cup after Jade Pennock had given the Blades an early lead.
Pennock's superb strike from the edge of the box came as United pressured their opponents early on as they looked to build on last week's victory at Aston Villa.
Carla Ward made two changes with Ellie Fletcher and Beth Merrick coming in for Ellie Gilliatt and Lisa Ryan, and United started brightly as they showed no fear against Bristol City.
The opener came after just 12 minutes as a loose ball fell to Pennock right on the edge of the box, the striker turning and firing an unstoppable effort into the top corner past Sophie Baggaley.
Both sides had chances as Bristol looked to respond and Nikki Davies had to be at her best to deny Katie Rood in a one-on-one situation.
Pennock herself went close again, the striker full of confidence as she fizzed another effort from distance just wide of the post.
Bristol did though respond soon after as Lucy Graham slotted home Juliette Kemppi's cross from close range to draw the home side level.
The game turned into a tough encounter as the rain began to pour down at the half-time interval and the Blades never quite recovered their rhythm in the second half.
It was wing-back Loren Dykes who put City into the lead. Graham was once again involved as her cross fell to Rood, the striker's header coming back off the post before Dykes reacted quickest to fire past Davies.
The hosts got their third with around 15 minutes to go to kill the tie off. Substitute Jess Woolley came out of a 50-50 with Davies in an almost impossible shooting position but the midfielder somehow curled the ball into the far post from the tightest of angles.
United did their best to respond and put pressure on the Vixens with a host of corners but the home side saw the game out to record the victory.
Blades: Davies; Barker, Cox, Fletcher, Cresswell; Tierney, Paul (Marsden 61), Rayner (Stevens 71); Dixon, Pennock, Merrick.
Unused: Joyce, Kemp, Ryan, Hartley, Ford.