Notts County manager Craig Short highlighted the importance of scoring first after watching his side lose 2-0 at home to Sheffield Wednesday.
The Magpies fell behind to Marcus Tudgay's 52nd-minute strike, and County's chances of extending their run of home wins in front of a season-high crowd at Meadow Lane were dealt a huge blow when Alan Judge was sent off for kicking out at Darren Potter.
The Wednesday midfielder then made the hosts pay, securing victory with the last kick of the game.
"I think it's a sign of how far the club's come that we expected to win that game," said Short. "We were confident, but not overconfident, and wanted to build on the result from midweek (a 3-2 win away to high-flying Peterborough).
"That's the best we've started a game, but we've got to take the first goal as that makes such a big difference.
"Our play was excellent in the first half. (Lee) Hughes and (Kevin) Smith were linking up well, but we've got to make sure we don't make mistakes at the back. With the number of goals we've scored, we can't expect teams to just come here and lie down."