and, though United were still largely in control, the visitors began to regain a foothold on proceedings as the clock ticked on, most notably hitting the bar with a free-kick in the 81st minute.
Encouragingly, the Reds kept their composure with captain Michael Keane showing his experience and authority at the back, helping his side see out a potentially influential victory that moves them up to sixth in the table.
United's next match is against Wolves on 10 March at AFC Telford United.
United: J Pereira; Varela, M Keane, Blackett, James; Pearson, Rothwell; Janko (Wilson 72), Petrucci, Lingard; A Pereira (Rowley 82).
Subs not used: Gollini, McNair, Rudge
Booked: Pearson, Varela