Blades survive strong second half Reds showing to hold off Paul Harsley's men.
Despite putting in a good second half performance, Barnsley Under 23s suffered a narrow 2-1 defeat away to Yorkshire rivals Sheffield United.
Tyler Smith opened the scoring on 11 minutes, seconds after being introduced as a substitute, dribbling around Jack Walton and slotting home.
The striker doubled his lead just before the half hour as Stefan Scougall escaped down the left before pulling back for Smith, who wriggled away from his markers before finding the corner.
Half time substitute Louis Rowe halved the arrears shortly before the hour after running around Aaron Ramsdale and slotting home, shortly after Jacob Brown had gone close with a volley.
Despite their best efforts, the Reds could not force an equaliser late on as the Blades dug in for victory.
A quiet start to the game came to an end eight minutes in when Romal Palmer showed great feet to carve out an opening before appearing to be upended, only for his appeals to be waved away.
Marc McNulty was forced off after only 10 minutes for the hosts with an injury but replacement Tyler Smith opened the scoring seconds later.
The striker raced onto a ball through from midfield and rounded Jack Walton to slot into an empty net and give the Blades the lead.
Jacob Brown showed great speed get away from James Wilson in the Blades defence but his effort was blocked as he shaped to shoot, while Wilson headed a Stefan Scougall corner just over the top midway through the half.
Smith doubled his tally shortly before the half hour when Scougall motored clear down the left and pulled back for Smith, who turned Julio Rodriguez before firing home.
The margin could have been even greater at half time had Jack Walton not made two fine saves to keep out David Brooks.
First, the attacker’s angled effort was saved by the face of the Reds stopper and he expertly tipped a looping effort over the top three minutes before the break.
The Reds came close to pulling a goal back on the stroke of half time as Matty Wolfe broke forward and played in James Carvell, who saw his driven effort from a tight angle saved by Aaron Ramsdale.
HALF TIME: Sheffield United 2-0 Barnsley.
The Reds introduced striker Louis Rowe at half time in place of Jake Charles and it appeared to have an effect early on.
Omari Patrick blazed down the left before slipping in Rowe, who in turn chipped the ball square for Brown, who volleyed just wide of the mark.
Rowe halved the deficit just before the hour mark after seizing on a loose ball, rounding Aaron Ramsdale and calmly firing the ball into the unguarded goal.
Chances were at a premium for either side for a time after the Reds scored. Regan Slater’s hooked effort was the closest either side came to finding the net.
The Reds thought they had a case for a penalty after Carvell’s free kick appeared to be handled, but the Blades broke quickly as the appeals were waved away.
Smith’s break was cut out by Rhys Dolan and as the Reds struggled to clear, Walton was forced to make a good low save to deny Slater increasing United’s tally.
Had it not been for Ben Swift’s vital interception, Horatio Hirst could have increased the lead late on as he looked to slot home Brooks’ delivery, but the defender cut the ball out at the vital time.
Reds: Walton (GK), Proctor, Rodriguez, Swift, Dolan, Carvell (Saeed, 85’ ), Wolfe, Palmer, Charles (Rowe, 46’ ), Patrick, Brown (Tingle, 79’ ).
Subs: Greatorex (GK), Lund.