Joe Dunne admitted it felt like a defeat after Colchester conceded a stoppage-time equaliser in a 1-1 home draw with Walsall.
Walsall looked like they were heading to defeat following Freddie Sears' seventh-minute strike for Colchester, only for defender Andy Taylor to rescue a point for Smith's side deep in stoppage-time with a superb free-kick.
Dunne, whose side have now not won in nine games, said: "It feels like a defeat, but the only positive we can take is that it isn't - it's a point.
"We did enough in the first half to score another goal, but they hit the woodwork twice and I'm realistic enough to know that Walsall would have been desperately disappointed to have left here with no points.
"Had we won the game playing as badly as we did everybody would probably have been euphoric and it would have been down to me to analyse how we can make ourselves better.
"Unfortunately now it makes it doubly difficult, but that's my job and we need to pick ourselves up and go again next week.
"We gave them the opportunity to score with the free-kick.
"If we'd held on for a 1-0 win, then everyone would have been delighted.
"It probably would have papered over a few gaps in the second half though."
Colchester took an early lead when Sears netted with a fine strike from the edge of the penalty area after being found by Gavin Massey following a good move.
But James Chambers' long-range effort clattered the woodwork for Walsall, before Butler's header was cleared off the goal-line by Matt Taylor.
Walsall midfielder Sam Mantom's fine effort hit a post before the break and the Saddlers pushed for an equaliser in the second half, which they got when Taylor's superbly-struck free-kick from the edge of the area in the dying moments secured them a well-earned point.