Coach Andy Legg’s young Bluebirds slipped to defeat in their opening Professional Development League fixture at Cardiff International Sports Campus.
Jake Young (2) and Reece York scored Sheffield United’s goals during the second half of a hard fought match.
Blades’ coach Matt Dukes, a former Burton Albion goalkeeper, said: “During the first half there wasn’t a lot in the game, but we grew stronger as the game went on. It tested the character of our players, but they dug in and won the game.”
Up to four over-age players can be selected for under-23 development fixtures, but the Bluebirds did not include any senior squad members.
It was a close match which could have gone either way and with almost an hour gone the score was 1-1.
Laurence Wootton scored City’s goal and Legg, while bitterly disappointed with the defeat, will take positives from the performance.
The next development match for the Bluebirds is at Barnsley, while they take on Birmingham City at Cardiff City Stadium on Monday, August 26 (7pm).
Sion Spence went close to firing Cardiff ahead when he ran onto a Shamar Moore pass after 13 minutes, but he was quickly closed down by defenders, while a Jake Evans shot was deflected over the bar.
Cameron Coxe then headed over from James’ Waite as the home team started brightly.
United’s Sam Ompreon went for goal after 26 minutes, but his effort was kept out by a terrific Warren Burwood save.
George Broadbent hit the Cardiff bar just before half-time, while the visitors went ahead when Young scored after 47 minutes.
Wootton equalised from close range on 50 minutes and at 1-1 City were beginning to take charge.
York’s goal after 58 minutes came after a quick passing move which ended when the scorer chipped goalkeeper Burwood and United completed their win when Young fired into the top corner (81 mins).
Cardiff City: Warren Burwood, Cameron Coxe, Ciaron Brown, Keenan Patten, Ben Margetson (Ryan Reynolds 61), Jack Bodenham, Sion Spence (Dan Williams 61), Jake Evans (Sam Bowen 64), Shamar Moore, James Waite, Laurence Wootton. Subs not used: Jamie Cogman, Ryan Pryce.
Sheffield United: Marcus Dewhurst, Keenan Ferguson, Jean Belehouan, Reece York (capt), Kyron Gordon, George Broadbent, Harry Sheppard (Stephan Mallon 53), Zak Brunt, Sam Ompreon, Jake Young, Harry Boyes. Subs not used: Harrison Neal, Jordan Amissah, Iliman Ndiaye, Ashton Hall,
Referee: Daniel Lamport