We started well at Stevenage Borough and took the lead through George Snee but the Gunners, with Francis Jeffers and Martin Keown on the comeback trail, levelled before the break and eventually ran out worthy 4-1 winners.
But Gary Doherty played for 85 minutes, Stephen Clemence completed the match and youngster Marcel McKie, just 17, held his own up against the impressive Jermaine Pennant on his full debut at this level.
"Gary Doherty did a lot of things very, very well," said boss Colin. "He was very heavy legged on occasions in the second half but when you are coming back from injury games like that are a massive benefit.
"What happens in front of you dictates a lot of how people perceive how you play. The good thing for Gary is that he's ended up having to defend for the majority of the game and work hard to defend all the situations. That would have been worth a couple of games to him.
"If you sit back and analyse who Marcel McKie was up against he did marvellously. He showed good composure on the ball, a good way to pass and all the simple things that perhaps we don't do enough. He brought a nice balance to the left-hand side as well.
"There were positives. The last couple of reserve games have been played at a cracking tempo and that's what you want. That's a great advantage to Gary Doc and Clem."
Colin conceded that the better team won on the night. He reflected: "We started well in the first period of the first half, scored a goal, but they then played very well from then on in and deserved to win.
"We were a little demoralised at the end but you just have to stick at it. You have to do the right things whether you are 2-0 up or 4-1 down."
Colin Calderwood managed to take the positives out of Thursday night's reserve defeat against Arsenal.