Jack Midson made amends for an early own goal by firing the Dons to a 2-1 victory at Kingsmeadow.
The striker had deflected a corner into his own net early on before Luke Moore equalised. Midson struck at the right end 16 minutes from time to seal the points.
"I liked the way we played, the intensity and the desire to win," said Tisdale, who felt Exeter should have been awarded a penalty. "We showed bundles of it.
"It was at times a game of rugby, not so much a football match. The players competed and put themselves about but we conceded two goals.
"I liked the way we played but it's about the result at the end of the day. This is not what we needed. It's familiar, we just have to keep believing in ourselves. Keep working hard. It's all cliches but we've got to keep at it.
"I didn't dislike us but it's just no good because we keep losing games, so it's on to the next.
"We should have had a penalty for the foul on Tom Nichols, definitely. There's no wonder we can't produce footballers in this country when you've got lower league football that's like a rugby match."