United's women's team were frustrated in their attempts to start 2019 with a win but can be proud of their performance against a Tottenham side chasing promotion to the FA WSL.
Carla Ward's side were looking to make it four wins on the bounce at Olympic Legacy Park and handed a debut to midfielder Maddy Cusack with fellow new arrival Ebony Salmon on the bench.
In the end most of the action came inside the first six minutes of the game as both sides started quickly.
Tottenham took the lead after five minutes when Rianna Dean headed home from close range after Sarah Wiltshire had struck the crossbar from distance.
But within 60 seconds United had responded in the best way possible. Veatriki Sarri stole a yard on her marker down the left and her tantalising cross was sent into her own net by Spurs captain Jenna Schillaci.
The Blades enjoyed a good spell for the next 20 minutes but failed to find the critical second goal. Sarri sent a powerful header straight at Chloe Morgan before Sophie Jones saw an effort blocked on the line.
Tottenham themselves ended the half well without ever hugely calling Alex Brooks into action but the visitors began to turn the screw early in the second half.
In the end it was a moment of genius from Wiltshire that decided the tie. The forward set herself up with a header from a cross and promptly volleyed the ball into the corner of the net.
It didn't dampen United's spirits though and Morgan in the Spurs goal was one of the star players as she thwarted the Blades on several occasions.
The introduction of Manchester United loanee Salmon injected more life into the game and the new arrival went close when she fired an effort into the side netting.
Sarri was denied not once but twice by Morgan, first with a shot from the edge of the box before her free-kick was also palmed away by the Tottenham goalkeeper.
Unfortunately United couldn't find another major chance to get what would have been at least a deserved equaliser.
Blades: Brooks, Pennock, Tierney, Cox, Gilliatt, S. Barker, Cusack, Rayner, Dixon (Salmon 52), Jones, Sarri.
Unused: Joyce, Kemp, Paul, H. Barker, Hartley, Marsden.