Marc McNulty’s first goal in Sheffield United colours sealed their safe passage to the second round of the Capital One Cup, after a 2-1 victory over Mansfield tonight.
McNulty linked up with sub Michael Higdon before beating off the challenge of two Mansfield defenders, and drilling his shot low past Stags goalkeeper Sascha Studer.
Alex Fisher had dragged Mansfield back on level terms at Bramall Lane after Andy Butler put United ahead moments before.
Fisher claimed the equaliser, although a United player may have got the decisive touch to deflect the shot wide.
A scrappy close range header from Butler put the Blades ahead against the Stags.
Butler reacted first, almost on the line, as the unlucky Town goalkeeper Sascha Studer brilliantly saved Jose Baxter’s header from a corner.
The two sides were deadlocked at the break with United looking to bounce back from the opening day defeat to Bristol City.
United, who made eight changes from that game, started very much on the front foot against the League Two visitors and could have gone ahead in the first minute, but Marc McNulty’s shot was blocked.
Mansfield goalkeeper Sascha Studer them had to be at his best to deny Jose Baxter, and Neill Collins headed a foot wide from the resulting corner.
Baxter flashed wide soon after, but United goalkeeper Mark Howard was relatively untroubled until Town substitute Sam Clucas forced him into a full-length save.
Ben Davies then sent a curling free-kick wide of Studer’s right hand post from just outside the area, as United continued to press for that elusive opening goal in front of 7,929 at Bramall Lane.
Baxter and Studer were then involved in an off-the-ball discussion which resulted in both players receiving a taking to from the ref.
From the United side which lost 2-1 to City out went Craig Alcock, Harrison McGahey, Jamie Murphy, Ryan Flynn, Stefan Scougall, Chris Basham, Louis Reed and Michael Higdon.
Amongst those recalled were Neill Collins, Andy Butler and Michael Doyle, who captained the side.
Chris Porter started up front, and Jamal Campbell Ryce and Marc McNulty made full debuts after cameo appearances against City.
Blades: Howard, Davies, Collins, Butler, Harris, Campbell-Ryce, Doyle (c), McGinn, Baxter, McNulty, Porter
Subs: Basham, Flynn, Murphy, Willis, McGahey, Higdon, De Girolamo.
Mansfield: Studler, Sutton, Riley, Tafazolli, Fisher, Hearn, McGuire (c), Heslop, Beevers, Taylor, Clements
Subs: Dempster, Jones, F Bell, Clucas, Thomas, Belford, A Bell.
Ref: Geoff Eltrongham