It cannot, however, be denied that Kettering were full value for earning a reply at Rockingham Road on Tuesday week.
Notts were never on top throughout the game and, the longer it went on, the likelier Kettering seemed to snatch a winner.
They had started brightly and created the game's first real chance which Iyseden Christie dragged across the face of goal.
In the 18th minute the Poppies took the lead thanks to a dreadful defensive error by County's Jamie Clapham.
He presented the ball to dangerman Alfie Potter who picked out Brett Solkhon in the area and the midfielder, who had made a great run, finished off well to beat Russell Hoult.
Notts got on terms in the 34th minute with one of the best bits of football they produced in the entire tie.
The brains behind the goal was Jamie Forrester who drilled a lovely low ball in for the unmarked Sean Canham to score with ease from six yards.
Notts started the second half brightly again but were soon on the receiving end of sustained Kettering pressure and their goal had a series of lucky escapes.
John Thompson rescued them with a goal-line clearance that denied Craig Westcarr. The chance arose from a long throw by Exodus Geoghaghan and his deliveries were a source of trouble for the Notts defence throughout the 90 minutes.
Substitute Jean-Paul Marna had a late chance to win the game for Kettering but headed over the bar.
When County replied Guy Branston - who had a brief spell on loan at Notts last season - made a hash of a clearance but neither Delroy Facey nor Canham could profit from it, although both should have done so.
Notts lost leading scorer Richard Butcher to a first-half injury and he was sent to hospital for an X-ray.