DAVE Huzzey believes Colchester United's young players will benefit from the experience of their BBC Essex Senior Cup Final defeat against Redbridge.

A youthful U's side along with several first-team players were beaten 5-4 in a penalty shootout by the Pitching In Isthmian League division north opponents after the final had finished 0-0 after 90 minutes, at Dagenham and Redbridge FC.

It was a painful way to lose for Colchester but transition coach Huzzey feels they can take positives from the night.

Huzzey said: "The experience that this cup has given us is invaluable.

READ MORE: Colchester beaten on penalties in BBC Essex Senior Cup Final

"It's not what we get in our weekly programme, playing against the likes of Cardiff, Swansea, Millwall or Charlton.

"To play against men's teams in these sort of environments is positive and the players will get loads from it.

"It's a bit of a lottery when it goes down to penalties.

"They're going to come across these experiences, whether it's for the first team or playing at a different level.

"It's a really good competition - you just want to win it.

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"I do think the occasion took some of the younger ones by surprise, how serious it was, a few people here, different stadium.

"But when we settled down, I thought we played some good stuff."

Samson Tovide made a welcome return for Colchester in the final, completing 45 minutes in his first competitive game since suffering an ankle injury against Crawley Town, last December.

"Samson coming back in I thought was a real positive," said Huzzey.

"I thought he was a real handful, with his pace, power and directness and that will be something that the first team get to look forward to, now he's back."

READ MORE: Colchester United v Redbridge - as it happened

Colchester struggled to make an impact in the first half, against a well-organised and disciplined Redbridge side.

But they improved in the second half and created chances, with their closest effort a Hakeem Sandah strike which bounced down from the underside of the crossbar.

However, they could not find a breakthrough and the game went to penalties, where Redbridge prevailed.

Huzzey added: "In the first half we weren't good enough but I thought in the second half, we deserved a little bit more.


"But credit goes to Redbridge, because I thought they put up a really good fight and were really hard to play against.

"We knew they would be but we just couldn't break them down, in the end.

"I've just asked the lads what they've learnt tonight and it was about playing in the first half, rather than just coming out in the second half.

"In the first half, the ball speed was too slow and I thought we were too impatient and didn't really connect our movements.

"But in the second half, it was much better - we had the header from Kaleel (Green) and had some good chances, as they did.

"Starting a little bit earlier in the first half might have given us a chance."