Southampton Under-23s coach Radhi Jaïdi said he was proud of his players after they battled for almost the entire game with ten men against Brighton.
Saints were edged out 1-0 by their Albion counterparts in Premier League 2 at Staplewood, after losing Jan Bednarek to a controversial red card in the 14th minute, with the defender judged to have committed a foul as the last man.
Jaïdi's side performed impressively despite the disadvantage, and created some good opportunities, but they were ultimately undone by a stunning strike from Brighton substitute Aaron Connolly shortly after half-time.
"I told the boys they should be proud of their performance, despite the result, which was due to many aspects," said Jaïdi. "One of them which was the referee's decision. I'm not sure about it, so I'll have a look. But, overall, I think we started well.
"It (the red card) ruined a little bit our game, but I think the performance was spot on from the boys, in terms of how they handled it, how they showed a good mentality and spirit and how they handled the challenge.
"If we played with 11 we could have been more in balance and more of a threat up front and probably scored more goals and created more chances than what we saw in the game.
"That probably would be the difference, and it's really important, because it could be three points for us. But, as I said, this is part of the game and part of the learning experience for some of them.
"There are a lot of positives to take from tonight. First of all the mentality the boys showed in this game and hopefully if we take that to our next game – and any game – we will win it."