Mark Ellis’ debut goal just after the hour gave Notts County a 1-0 win at Wealdstone to keep themselves in the Vanarama National League play-off mix.

County had shaded a cagey first half, with midfielder Michael Doyle heading over and also forcing a decent stop from Stones goalkeeper Harry Isted.

The Magpies broke the deadlock in the 63rd minute when Doyle swept the ball back in following a free-kick and defender Ellis, on loan from Tranmere, headed it into the top corner.

Isted denied the visitors a second goal late on when he tipped Jim O’Brien’s 20-yard shot wide and also pushed away a goal-bound effort from Calvin Miller.

Newly appointed manager Stuart Maynard said he was “proud” of his side’s effort after the match, but said his players needed to become braver and more adventurous in attack.

“The lads did really well today to contain what they had, going forward especially,” Maynard told the club website.

“I don’t really think there was much in the game but I think that our best two chances in the game came in the first half. H has made a great save, and then in the second half, he’s made a great save but that’s when we’re already at 1-0, we’re chasing the game a little bit other than that,I think it was a fairly eve game.

“I thought the lads did really well, they were really brave. We said to them in the week that we’re defending really solid now, we need to start being a bit braver when we’ve got our foot on the ball and start to move the ball now and be a bit more fluid going forward.

“It’s a little bit disappointing that we’re not creating too many chances but you’ve got to understand that they are full time and they’re working on this week in week out.

“We’re happy and proud of the lads, the way they’ve worked, their work ethic. It’s a sign of how professional they are.”