Colchester United manager Joe Dunne was pleased with the performance if not the result after seeing his side beaten 3-1 by high-flying Brentford.
The U's produced a battling display against their high-flying visitors and pushed for an equaliser, before a late goal wrapped up the Bees' win.
Colchester were left with a mountain to climb after goals from Marcello Trotta and Adam Forshaw gave Brentford a two-goal lead inside 12 minutes and Josh Thompson was sent off.
But the outstanding Drey Wright gave the U's hope with his first-ever senior goal and the U's pushed for an equaliser, until Harlee Dean wrapped up the points for the west London side in the closing stages.
Dunne said: "I'm not pleased with the result but I have to give a lot of credit to the players because they were very brave.
"I just want this group to keep trying and to stick together as best they can.
"The disappointing thing was the first and third goals that we conceded were just balls into the box and we should have defended them better."
For more reaction, along with a full match report and pictures from the U's game against Brentford, see Thursday's Gazette.