Harrison Reed’s goal gave Hunter’s side the lead, but the visitors hit back through Harry Wilson’s penalty before Ryan Kent won the game with a free-kick late on.
Despite the defeat, Hunter said his players should be pleased with the way they approached the game.
“I thought the performance, particularly first half and large parts of the second, was absolutely terrific,” Hunter told youtube.com/southamptonfc
“Everything we’ve worked on all week, including playing out from the back and switching play was there.
“I thought we caused them all sorts of problems – particularly in the first 25 minutes. We created chances but didn’t score at the critical time.
“Then obviously the penalty just before half time takes the wind out of their sails for a little bit, but I thought second half we got up a head of steam.
“There were some very mature performances, I thought.”
Kent’s free-kick was the difference between the two sides, and Hunter admitted Saints must learn from the decisive moment.
“Set-plays are vital and we’ve given away a poor set-play. Our marking positions are not right and we’ve been punished,” Hunter added.
“I’ve said afterwards they shouldn’t get their heads down. Everybody is disappointed with the result, but in terms of the performance it was very, very pleasing.
“We’re now second game into a five-match cycle in the next three weeks. I’m sure they will build on that. We’re looking forward to what’s to come.”