Coventry City will view this as a chance wasted as they let victory slip away against a decimated Scunthorpe side.
The Sky Blues ended the match with only nine men against them but still could not summon up a goal to reward the lowest league gate of the season at the Ricoh Arena.
But maybe it was destined to be a strange night from the half hour mark when City were awarded a penalty, only to have it taken away from them in an instant.
The highly impressive Jay Tabb moved on to a pass just outside the area and looked to get away from Kelly Youga.
There was no doubt that the defender brought the Coventry player down and for a moment there seemed no doubt in the mind of the referee as he pointed straight to the spot.
The Scunthorpe players were less certain and eventually steered the Chester official to his assistant who clearly ruled that the challenge had come outside the area.
City were far from happy, but photo-graphic evidence appeared to back the judgment of the men in black.
The home side, however, nearly had the last laugh when McNamee's shot from the free kick went just wide.
At least the incident constituted a talking point in a half where quality was all but non-existent.
Coventry had the better of possession and maybe chances but that is not saying a great deal.
The visitors were on the back of three defeats and while they tried to get forward when circumstances allowed they were not prone to chance their attacking arm.
Jack Cork, on loan from Chelsea, tried his luck from long range after only three minutes and Shaleum Logan then forced keeper Dimi Konstantoplous to save.
The game needed a goal from somewhere to raise the stakes and it came in controversial fashion in the 51st minute.
Leon McKenzie cleverly played Tabb through and when the former Brentford man rounded Joe Murphy, the Scunthorpe keeper brought him down.
Jones again reacted quickly and red carded the keeper. Josh Lillis emerged from the dug out as a substitute but could not stop Michael Doyle from finding the net.
Scunthorpe may have been down in terms of goals and men but they were certainly not bowed.
Jim Goodwin hit the bar with a curling free kick and had to watch the ball bounced down and land very near the line before City managed to clear.
Young Cork, son of former Coventry assistant Alan, went one better when he brought the promoted side back to parity.
He made the most of some defensive hesitancy in the 68th minute and placed his shot into the far corner of the net.
Dowie responded by making three quick-fire substitutes and they nearly came off when Wayne Andrews glanced a header just wide after a fine cross from Ellery Cairo.
There was more for Jones to do in the 83rd minute when Kelly Youga, who had done well against Julian Gray, picked up his second yellow card in just two minutes.