Kevin Nolan was left bitterly disappointed after his side drew 2-2 at home to Accrington Stanley.
The Magpies took a 2-0 lead through Jon Stead's penalty and Jorge Grant's fourth goal of the season before Mark Hughes pulled a goal back for the Reds.
Both sides were reduced to 10 men as Accrington substitute Mekhi McLeod was sent off for a lunge on Ryan Yates on 66 minutes and Matt Tootle saw red for two bookable offences.
Leeds United loanee Mallik Wilks then drilled home an equaliser in stoppage time to deny Notts the chance to go top of the Sky Bet League Two table.
"I'm upset and disappointed because we should have seen the game out and won it," said Nolan.
"We put ourselves in a fantastic postition and played some good stuff.
"We came out in the second half, went 2-0 up and then they have the man sent off so you think we should take ownership and responsibility to make sure we do the right things and see the game out.
"We did the wrong things at the wrong times but Accrington are a good side and kept going. They didn't let us have a minute but we knew that would happen and we told the lads that.
"We played well and were deservedly 2-0 up but we gave them a chance and it feels a bit like a loss.
"The positive thing to take from it is we are now four games unbeaten. We have had a tough start with the teams we were matched up with and we have handled it really well but it's just disappointing when we were in such control of the game."