SHEFFIELD United emerged with victory at Shrewsbury with goals from Doyle and Kitson despite a late home reply from McGinn.
This was a clash of two teams with exactly the same objective.
Sheffield United travelled to Shrewsbury Town searching for the three points that would reinvigorate their push for automatic promotion from League One.
Graham Turner’s side also kicked-off determined to record a win.
Albeit in an attempt to put further space between themselves and the relegation places.
Slow starts have plagued United in recent weeks but, barely a minute had passed, when Kitson and Doyle both hunted down McGinn, incredibly the three scorers of the afternoon, on the edge of Town’s area and forced a mistake.
Murphy used his turn of pace to ghost past three markers en route to the byline but Mambo did well to cut out his cross.
A thumping tackle from Higginbotham prevented Taylor from doing the same soon after.
All eyes at Greenhous Meadow, during the opening skirmishes at least, were on David McAllister.
The Town midfielder, who made 30 senior appearances for the visitors before completing a permanent transfer to Shropshire last month, scored the only goal of the game when these sides met at Bramall Lane on the new competition’s opening day.
Kitson continued to take plenty of punishment from Town’s rearguard.
One scything challenge, in the 31st minute, nearly ended with United taking the lead.
McMahon’s free-kick was turned around the foot of the post by Weale after curling around the wall and, from the resulting corner, Kitson’s header was well gathered.
Having made a positive start, United had achieved their first objective of the afternoon.
Completing the second would require them to show a little more care with their final pass and more muscle around the Town box.
Kitson and McDonald, together with Murphy, had all impressed for United. Indeed it was the former Motherwell wideman who tempted Gayle into conceding a free-kick inches outside of the box.
The Town full-back, who was cautioned for that trip, was soon joined in the referee’s notebook by DOYLE.
Fortunately for United, his indiscretion was for celebrating a goal.
Sixty four minutes had passed when Murphy again beat his marker for pace before cutting the ball back for Forte. He did not make a clean connection but forced Weale to save and when a defender - seemingly Jones - tried to blast clear, the ball hit United’s captain and flew into the back of the net.
KITSON made it safe for United with the second goal on 72 minutes.