David Weir's reign as Sheffield United manager got off to a perfect start with a 2-1 win over Notts County in League One on Friday.
Goals from Kevin McAllister and Harry Maguire sandwiched an equaliser from Enoch Showunmi to earn United three points in their first game of the season at Bramall Lane.
Weir's men started the match brightly and were well on top before County's task was made even harder when Gary Liddle was dismissed for a reckless challenge on McDonald after 13 minutes.
The defender lunged for the ball and ended up catching the 24-year-old in the ribs, leaving referee Keith Stroud with no choice but to issue the red card.
This numerical advantage only served to increase the home team's dominance and they had a good shout for a penalty rejected soon after. Striker Chris Porter appeared to be dragged down in the box by County defender Dean Leacock, but Stroud waved away their appeals.
New signing Febian Brandy, a constant menace throughout the game, then fired wide after a cushioned knock-down from Porter, but United did not have to wait long to take a fully-deserved lead.
Right-back Darryl Westlake swung in a dangerous first-time cross and midfielder McDonald - who spent a short time on loan at Meadow Lane in 2011 - timed his run perfectly to place his shot beyond Bartosz Bialkowski on the half-hour mark.
The home side continued to press but County held out to go into the break just one goal down.
And the visitors got themselves back into the game against the run of play shortly after the restart when Showunmi arrowed a 20-yard drive into the bottom corner just two minutes after being brought on by manager Chris Kiwomya.
However, their parity lasted just eight minutes as Harry Maguire powered a header past Bialkowski from Steven McGinn's free-kick to restore United's lead.
The home side continued to control the game and on-loan Liverpool midfielder Conor Coady almost got his first goal for the club after coming off the bench, but he could only fire wide after surging into the box.
|Lampard welcomes ´perfect´ NYCFC challenge|
|Shamrock Rovers 3 Progres Niederkorn 0: Waters at the double|
|Gerrard keen to emulate ´hero´ Beckham at Galaxy|
|UEFA Champions League Review: Red Imps make history, TNS breeze through|
|Ameobi extends Newcastle deal and heads for Cardiff|
|U.S. women celebrate World Cup victory with LA rally|
|Atletico agree Vietto deal|
|Silva appointed Olympiacos head coach|
|Presidential candidates unsure of Turan´s Barca switch|
|Toure keen to bounce back from ´disappointing´ campaign|
|El Salvador v Canada: Floro targets Gold Cup learning curve|
|Juve complete Zaza swoop|
|Costa Rica v Jamaica: Borges confident Wanchope´s men are ready|
|Marseille snare Sarr|
|Italy coach Conte to stand trial in match-fixing case|
|Castan keen to repay Roma´s faith|
|Rami thrilled to reunite with ´best coach´ Emery at Sevilla|
|Lusitans v West Ham: Tomkins seeks to silence minnows|
|Kagawa shines as Dortmund hit six in Japan|
|Alonso tips Gerrard for Galaxy glory|
|Firmino seeks self-improvement with Liverpool|
|Buffon bids farewell to Pirlo|
|Sterling named Europe´s ´most valuable´ young player|
|Casillas´ agent reveals Porto offer|
|Southampton bring in Martina|
|Dundee United accept Celtic´s Ciftci bid|
|McArthur pens new Palace deal|
|Bartomeu rules out Barca move for Pogba this year|
|Spurs have to be better now - Bentaleb|
|Milner expects central role|
|Micronesia thrashed again, this time 46-0|
|Marchisio: I cannot be Pirlo´s heir|
|Inter aiming for Champions League return - Icardi|
|UEFA Europa League Preview: Brondby and Slovan to protect handsome leads|
|Bentaleb pens new long-term deal at Tottenham|
|Barca agree Turan deal|
|FIFA bans Mayne-Nicholls|
|United States v Honduras: Klinsmann demands improvement ahead of Gold Cup opener|
|CONCACAF institutes extensive reforms in wake of FIFA corruption scandal|
|Mauri completes Milan move|
|City sign Turkey striker|
|Women´s World Cup final draws huge US TV ratings|
|My first Chelsea team better than current crop - Drogba|
|Bertrand set for lay-off after knee surgery|
|New five-year Juve deal for Marchisio|
|Allegri extends Juve contract|
|Koeman reiterates Alderweireld interest|
|Valencia bag Bakkali|
|New York City FC complete Pirlo capture|
|Panama v Haiti: Collat ready to challenge the best of CONCACAF|
|UEFA Champions League Preview: Harrison eyes TNS progression|
|FIFA sanctions Yemen for fielding ineligible player|
|Toulouse rubbish Ben Yedder exit reports|
|Mourinho ´knows what he´s doing´ with Falcao signing|
|Watford shell out club-record fee for Capoue|
|Braafheid signs Lazio extension|
|Nani finalises Fenerbahce move|
|Liverpool confirm O´Driscoll appointment|
|Liverpool have to start better - Lucas|
|USA simply too good - Sasaki|
|Portland Timbers 1 San Jose Earthquakes 0: Jewsbury wins it in stoppage time|
|No move yet for Van Persie|
|Lloyd wins Golden Ball, Silver Boot awards|
|Mascherano: I never grabbed Banega|
|Dunga requested Brazil not appeal Neymar´s suspension|
|United States 5 Japan 2: Lloyd stars with hat-trick|
|Fiorentina deny Inter criticism|
|Nani relishing Fenerbahce opportunity|