George Ray was sent-off late on as Crewe Alexandra’s recent winning sequence came to end through Stefan Scougall’s second-half effort for Sheffield United.
Scougall provided the decisive blow at close-range from Jamie Murphy’s pass with just over twenty minutes of the contest remaining.
The visitors should have won more emphatically when Jose Baxter was brought down by Ray inside the area – only for goalkeeper Ben Garratt to save his penalty. Ray was later dismissed with a straight red card for showing dissent.
Baxter had earlier gone close while Craig Alcock directed an effort against the far post from a corner.
Meanwhile, the recalled George Cooper forced Blades keeper Mark Howard into action from twenty-yards.
On loan forward Febian Brandy and substitute Billy Waters also required Howard to make saves and Anthony Grant hoisted over.
Substitute Mark McNulty later missed another decent chance for visitors who move up to fifth in the table.
Crewe Alexandra: Garratt, Tootle, Dugdale, Ray, Leigh, Grant, Cooper, Turton, Inman (Waters 78), Haber (Haynes 65), Brandy (Ness 64)
subs (unused): Shearer, Guthrie, Atkinson, Tate
Sheffield United: Howard, Alcock, Basham (McEveley 84), McCarthy, Harris, Campbell-Ryce, Wallace, Doyle, Murphy, Scougall (Reed 85), Baxter (McNulty 85)
subs (unused): Davies, McGahey, Higdon, Turner
Goals: Scougall (69)
Ref: P. Bankes
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