An emphatic second-half display put cup holders United into the final of the Lancashire Senior Cup, as Preston North End were totally overrun at Deepdale.
Wes Brown also completed an hour of action on his return from injury, enjoying a largely untroubled shift at right-back as United dominated proceedings.
With Kiko Macheda and Danny Welbeck both recovering from their Wembley exertions, it was down to in-form Lee Martin to operate as a makeshift striker, and it was he who came closest with a shot into the side netting just before the interval.
The Reds didn't have to wait long to forge ahead, as Danny Drinkwater bagged his second goal in as many games before the hour-mark, converting from close range after a break.
The goal broke Preston's resistance, and they had no answer as United continued to pull away. Martin bundled home a Zoran Tosic corner before turning provider, feeding Richard Eckersley to cross for Nicky Ajose.
United continued to create chances by the hatful, but the final - and finest - goal couldn't even be described as a half chance: substitute Matty James rifling home a quite brilliant effort from 25 yards.
United: Amos; W Brown (Dudgeon 60), De Laet, Gill, Eckersley; Eikrem (Ajose 70), Drinkwater, James, C Evans (Stewart 63), Tosic; Martin.
Subs not used: Devlin, Derbyshire.
Video: You can watch highlights of this match on MUTV from 19:00 BST on Tuesday.