Manager Dean Smith was encouraged by a much-improved display despite watching Walsall's JPT shoot-out defeat to Rochdale.
The Saddlers came from behind to level through Kevan Hurst in normal time, sending the tie to penalties after a 1-1 draw, but saw Dale keeper Jake Kean save both Hurst and Richard Taundry's efforts from the spot as Rochdale claimed the shoot-out 3-1.
"I'm disappointed with the result but pleased with the performance," Smith said. "I'm disappointed because I felt we should have gone on to win the game.
"After we scored we were the better team by far and we passed it and moved it around with a lot of quality. We had chances to win it - Davey Martin was back to the player we know he can be and Kevan Hurst came on and got a good goal.
"On chances created we should have won it in the 90 minutes, but that's the way it goes sometimes. Rochdale's goal went in off the lad's shin into the top corner!
"So it's disappointing to go out on penalties, but the display was much better from us and was more what we're about, moving the ball around well and creating chances."