Colchester United boss Matt Bloomfield felt his side could take pride in their efforts despite losing to a “top team” in Carlisle United.

Alfie McCalmont’s early winner denied the visitors a club record sixth straight away win.

The Blues’ efforts checked the recent impressive form of Bloomfield’s side.

The Essex club’s head coach felt there was little in the game despite Carlisle coming out on top.

“Apart from the [individual error] so early on in the game, we’re coming away with another clean sheet, something we’ve been priding ourselves on recently,” he told The Gazette.

“Carlisle are a top team – they’re going for automatic promotion and we went toe to toe with them away from home.

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“There’s plenty for us to be proud about.

“I thought the reaction after the goal was very good from our boys, the resilience that they showed.

News and Star: United's Callum Guy, right, takes on Colchester's Arthur ReadUnited's Callum Guy, right, takes on Colchester's Arthur Read (Image: Barbara Abbott)

“In the second half, I felt like we were the ones in the ascendency apart from a couple of deflected shots that fell for them at the end.

“It’s a game of small margins and unfortunately, an error from us has led to us conceding so early and we couldn’t quite get one back.”

Colchester have been in resurgent form in recent weeks under Bloomfield, their side bolstered by some major January recruitment.

He said the U’s had hoped to play on Carlisle’s nerves after their thrashing by Mansfield four days earlier.

“It was obviously frustrating from our part, because we spoke about the fact that they’d lost here on Tuesday night and about keeping them quiet early and building ourselves into the game,” he added.

“I thought we started well for the first couple of minutes – we looked organised but only a couple of minutes in and then that individual error happens, which earlier in the season was costing us but we’ve been able to cut them out recently.

“That’s been the deciding factor in a keenly-fought contest between a team that’s going for automatic and ourselves, who are still trying to build our season.”

Bloomfield felt his side gained good territory as they tried to fight back, but were without “cutting edge”.

“We had lots of nearly moments, without getting the goal back,” he added.

“We know football is decided by these nearly moments and on another day, one goes in our favour but it wasn’t to be.”