Colchester manager John Ward felt his side failed to make the most of their extra man in the 2-1 defeat at Plymouth.
Rory Fallon had opened the scoring for Plymouth before Nathan Clarke's prodigious throw-in caused confusion in the home penalty area and eventually ended up in the net off Argyle defender Stephane Zubar in the 41st minute. Chris Clark was then dismissed but it was the 10 men who went on to win thanks to a late penalty.
Ward said: "We didn't get the start we wanted and it was a different game, different situation and opposition.
"You have got to work hard to gain that kind of momentum but when we did get on top in this game - as I thought we did in the last 15 minutes of the first half, that's when we have got to make it count.
"We could have really put them back on the back foot in that spell before half time but we didn't really do that.
"The sending off lifts them up because they feel they are hard done by and I have to say I agree with them on that, and then the penalty lifts them even more and then we are hard done by."