EXETER City manager Matt Taylor insists his side remain 'well in the tie' despite their 1-0 League Two play-off semi-final first leg loss at Colchester United.

Cohen Bramall's late free-kick proved the difference between the two sides at the JobServe Community Stadium, following a closely-contested affair.

Exeter will have to come from behind in the tie when the second leg takes place at St James Park on Monday night if they are to progress to the final but boss Taylor is still feeling upbeat.

Taylor said: “We are well in the tie and a draw would have been a fair result from our point of view, but I can't be too negative.

"There was not too much between the teams.

"We had moments in the attacking third but didn’t sustain them, and when we are at home, we need to sustain the attacks and make better decisions and move the ball a bit better.

“We had enough of the ball in good areas but didn’t quite use it.

"Our attacking players rarely found themselves in good positions in space or 1v1 and our use of the ball and passing wasn’t quite there tonight.

"Defences seemed to be on top, and the goal was a poor goal.

"We have got to not concede the free-kick and if we do, work harder to stop it going in.”

Taylor was disappointed with the manner of the free-kick conceded in the build up to Bramall's 81st-minute winner.

“It was disappointing conceding the way we did and we were just running out of legs towards the end," added the Exeter boss.

“But all credit to Colchester for the way they kept on going.

“It was tired legs and tired minds when we conceded the free-kick at the end and we didn’t need to take it backwards, like we did.

“It was also disappointing to see the free-kick go in at the near post but the lads gave it everything and they put in a shift.

“We will have to assess how they are and then move on to Monday.

“It was always going to be cagey but I think both teams had a good structure about them – it lacked quality but we’ve got some quality players on the pitch, as Colchester do.

“If we want to progress, we have to improve on things."