Brentford contributed their full share to a contest that began at an exhilarating pace and never slackened.
In the first minute Adam Newton set up the game's first chance only for Nathan Elder to put it over the bar.
In a purple five-minute spell Notts had three chances to break the deadlock none of which was made to count.
On 29 minutes Matt Hamshaw supplied Myles Weston with a brilliant crossfield ball and Weston's effort just missed the back post.
Two minutes later, from the edge of the penalty area, Hamshaw aimed for the top corner but Ben Hamer, leaping to his right, turned it away for a corner.
Three minutes later Hamer had to catapult to his left to deny Notts' man of the match Delroy Facey.
Notts were made to pay and the Bees remained indebted to Hamer when they snatched a 36th minute lead.
In a lighting breakaway Charlie MacDonald pulled the ball back to Glenn Poole, who almost broke the back of the net with a ferocious drive for his fifth goal of the campaign.
Notts sought an early equaliser at the begging of the second period, but with Hamer beaten by defender Jamie Clapham's 25-yard drive, the ball cannoned off the goalkeeper's left-hand upright.
Brentford's resolute defence was only pierced when Sam Wood handled to give away a penalty.
Jamie Forrester lashed the ball past Hamer and the game was set for a rousing climax.
The best of the late chances fell to Poole, who pulled his shot wide when he should have done better.