Crewe and Sheffield United both came from behind to play out a lively draw.
Two goals from corners put the Blades in control, Crewe old boy Shaun Miller poking home before Harry Maguire was allowed a free header.
Crewe levelled by half-time thanks to Mark Ellis's effort and Mathias Pogba's close-range finish.
Chuks Aneke tapped into an empty net to put the Alex 3-2 up but Nick Blackman was first to react when Miller's shot came back off the post.
VIEW FROM THE DRESSING ROOM
Sheffield United manager Danny Wilson told BBC Radio Sheffield:
"I'm sure the referee will talk differently but the DVD suggests it was a penalty.
"But we didn't get it, so we're talking about something hypothetical.
"We didn't perform and defensively made some bad decisions. It's a learning curve for the younger players in the team."
Sheffield United 25 Long 02 Westlake 05 Maguire 15 Collins 30 Williams 07 Flynn (McAllister - 46' ) 08 Doyle 11 McDonald 09 Porter 10 Blackman 12 Miller Substitutes 35 Coyne 16 McAllister 22 Philliskirk 24 Ironside 26 McFadzean 17 Cresswell 19 Cofie Crewe Alexandra 13 Martin 02 Tootle 03 Davis 05 Ellis 15 Robertson 08 Murphy 19 Osman 26 Aneke (M Clayton - 73' ) 09 Pogba 11 Moore (Dugdale - 90' ) 30 Dalla Valle (Turton - 90' ) Substitutes 01 Phillips 06 Dugdale 12 Turton 16 Guthrie 18 Daniels 27 Colclough 07 M Clayton