Respect was paid to the late Jimmy Sirrel ahead of kick-off as family, friends and supporters alike marked the anniversary of his passing.
One famous face may have left Meadow Lane this week but eleven others left the pitch wearing broad smiles after an exciting 3-1 win over Port Vale. The broadest grin belonged to evergreen striker Lee Hughes who scored all three goals in a win which will have cheered County fans after a week of scary headlines and newspaper stories dealing more in gossip than in fact.
Hughes scored his first on the quarter hour mark, heading Ben Davies' flick into the top corner. He could have notched his hat trick inside the next 25 minutes, denied a penalty appeal and then shooting just wide of keeper Chris Martin's post before Vale won a penalty against the run of play in the 41st minute. County skipper John Thompson complained bitterly to referee Anthony Taylor that there was nothing wrong with the tackle that brought Lewis Haldane's surging run to an end but was forced to watch as Mark Richards sent the spot kick low and to the left of Kasper Schmeichel outstretched (outsize) glove.
Home fans' fears of a County collapse were allayed three minutes into time added on when John McCombe fouled Hughes who dusted himself down to make it 2-1 from the spot.
The match was hardly an hour old when Hughes effectively ended it as a contest, although his weak shot from Davies' free kick would never have found the net without an inexplicable fumble from Martin which may lead to a few sleepless nights in the days to come.
But County didn't need any help on their way to taking all three points and with Hughes in this sort of form the future, once again, looks bright.
Full Time: Notts County FC 3-1 Port Vale FC
Notts County: Schmeichel, Moloney, Ritchie, Edwards, Thompson (C), Ravenhill (Bishop), Hughes (Facey), Davies, Rodgers (Hawley), Jackson, Jones
Subs Not Used: Pilkington, Hamshaw, Clapham, Westcarr
Sent Off: None
Goals: Hughes (16, 45 Pen, 58)
Port Vale: Martin, Stockley (Richman), Taylor, Griffith, McCombe (Dodds), Richards, Fraser (C), Collins, Owen (McCrory), Taylor, Haldane
Subs Not Used: Anyon, Yates
Booked: McCrory, Fraser
Sent Off: None
Goals: Richards (43)
Match Referee: Mr A Taylor Attendance: 7561