DANNY Cowley felt there was a lot for his Colchester United side to be proud of after they battled to a 1-1 draw at League Two leaders Mansfield Town.

Harry Anderson's first-half strike gave the U's a shock lead at the One Call Stadium, before Lewis Brunt struck in the second half to secure the hosts a share of the spoils.

Samson Tovide hit a post late on for Colchester while goalkeeper Owen Goodman made two outstanding saves in the second half, as the visitors claimed a hard-earned point.

Cowley said: "They're the best team in the division and there's a lot to respect in Mansfield.

READ MORE: Match report as Colchester hold leaders Mansfield to draw

"They've got huge attacking threat and have scored 31 goals in their last ten games, which is double any other team in the division, so to come here and put in the performance that we did, we have a lot to be proud of.

"We're disappointed that we haven't won the game.

"There was all the qualities I like from my team.

Anderson stunned the hosts with a fine strike in the first half, finishing low into the far corner from Tom Hopper's assist.

"It was a great finish from Harry, " said Cowley.

"I thought he was excellent today, both with and without the ball.

"He gives the team so much - it's not just the offensive side of the game, he also gives you so much defensively as well.


"There were some really good performances.

"Tom Dallison excellent, Alistair Smith terrific, Arthur Read covered every single blade of grass, Jay Mingi playing in a position that's not familiar to him was terrific.

"I thought Owen (Goodman) made an outstanding save particularly in the second half.

"I thought we actually protected him pretty well throughout, I have to say.

"I watched a number of games recently where Mansfield have created chances at will and I thought our defensive organisational structure was really good.

"We did well today, both with and without the ball.

READ MORE: Mansfield Town 1 Colchester United 1 - as it happened

"I know their fans were getting frustrated - I'm not sure if they were getting frustrated with us or with their own team.

"I'm not sure if they expected us to turn up here and lie down and let them run all over us but not on my watch.

"Maybe in the past, people would consider Colchester United as a nice club, nice facilities, nice players but we want to win and I think you saw today a team that is determined, a team that is resilient, gritty and also streetwise."