Jon Stead's late penalty proved the difference between the two sides and stopped Vale from notching up a third win in a row against League Two's big hitters, having beaten Coventry City and Luton Town prior to their visit of Meadow Lane.
"I thought we were brilliant," Nolan told the official Notts site. "I was pleased with the positive nature in how we responded to what was a poor display on Saturday.
"The reaction I got from the lads today was magnificent. We dominated throughout and got the goal we deserved in the end.
"I am delighted for Steady to get a goal. People may say it's a penalty and it's a freebie but that is never the case. We have missed enough to know that.
"(50 points) is what we were aiming to get to as soon as possible so to be there at the turn of the year is an absolutely fantastic achievement by the lads.
"Now we can reassess and see how far we can go but we know how hard it is and how hard we have had to work to get to that position from being in the bottom two this time last year to top two this year.
"It's not about us getting carried away. We should enjoy it but continue to work hard. Hopefully we are still in the same position come game 46 of the league season."