United's Academy side were left to rue missed opportunities as they were held to a goalless draw by Sheffield United's resolute youngsters at Carrington.
Boss Paul McGuinness will have taken heart from his side's resolve after a run of three defeats in four games, and could even count on slice of luck as the visitors struck the woodwork after the interval.
Any more than a point for the visitors would have been rough justice on United, who should have taken the lead in a bright opening period. Ryan Tunnicliffe turned Scott Moffatt's shot just over the bar from close range, while Nicky Ajose was thwarted by a sprawling save from the visiting goalkeeper.
Tunnicliffe came close straight from the second half kick-off, but shortly afterwards United goalkeeper Gary Woods could only watch on as Joe Smith smashed a close-range shot against the crossbar.
A nip-and-tuck affair continued with chances at a real premium, and the Reds were left to count the cost of not taking those sporadic opportunities when they did come along.
However, the return from injury of Reece Brown and Ravel Morrison, both introduced as second-half substitutes, did provide some welcome cheer on a grey day at Carrington.
United: Woods; Moffatt (Brown 58), Dudgeon, Strickland, Wootton; Curran, Tunnicliffe, Norwood, Galbraith (Morrison 58); Ajose, Stewart.
Subs not used: Brandao.