Notts County's dreadful start to the season now feels an age away.
Three wins in a row and five games unbeaten now has the Magpies up in 17th place in the League Two table, four points clear of the bottom two, a superb turnaround given they were bottom of the table on just one point a month ago.
The latest victory is also County's first win away from home this season as Macclesfield Town, themselves still struggling and currently at the foot of the league, were beaten 1-0 at Moss Rose.
The first half of the encounter saw little in terms of eventful occurrences, though the Silkmen had the better of the game up until the half-time whistle, with more possession and efforts on goal.
Ross Fitzsimons had to be alert to save from Nathan Blissett early on before Kane Hemmings prodded straight at goalkeeper Kieran O’Hara on the stroke of half time.
The stalemate continued into the second half, though Enzio Boldewijn and Stead had claims for a penalty waved away, before Nathan Blissett headed just wide of the post from a free kick.
Just as it looked like a draw was on the cards, centre-back Fiacre Kelleher gifted possession to Boldewijn, who bore down on goal, and O'Hara brought the Dutchman down for a penalty.
Stead stepped up and sent O'Hara the wrong way eight minutes from time to give Notts a late lead and, eventually, all three points.