Andrew Dempsey reports from Stradbrook Road
First Division Wexford turned in a performance of the highest quality as they dismantled Cabinteely by five goals to one at Stradbrook on Friday evening.
A brace from Karl Fitzsimons was enhanced by first-half goals from Karl Manahan and Dan Tobin.
Kevin Knight scored what turned out to be a consolation for the hosts in the 52nd minute, while sub Patrick O’Sullivan made it 5-1 late on with a superb composed finish.
Just inside the playoffs heading into the game, Pat Devlin’s Cabinteely made one change from their recent late defeat against Galway, with top scorer Shane Barnes being the notable inclusion for the hosts.
Wexford on the other hand were winless since 31 July, and Brian O’Sullivan – who has been recently joined by Harry Kenny as his new assistant – made just the one change with Karl Manahan coming in for Azeez Yussuf.
The South Dubliners started off sluggishly and were duly punished when they fell behind in the fifth minute of the game.
Manahan headed home against his former club after he was found unmarked at the back post from Karl Fitzsimons’ cross.
Wexford continued to pose questions of the Cabinteely defence, with former Waterford under-19-star Jack Larkin going close after being fed in by former Cabo midfielder Conor Crowley.
However, Chambers was on hand to divert Larkin’s shot wide when it looked as if Brian O’Sullivan’s side would double their advantage.
And despite showing signs of life after Barnes went close, Cabo went two behind in the 19th minute.
Jack Doherty held the ball up outside the penalty area, and he found Dan Tobin who fired home into the far corner of the net.
The goalmouth action was scarce enough following Tobin’s rasping strike, but it was Cabinteely who improved as the half wore on.
Striker Barnes went close with a long-range strike on goal, but Wexford shot-stopper Tom Murphy was more than equal to the danger on hand.
But it was on the half hour mark when they went closest to halving the deficit, but Luke Clucas could not convert his headed effort into a goal.
Eoin Massey's cross caused mayhem in the Wexford defence - the Slaneysiders couldn't clear and the ball fell to Steven Kinsella.
Kinsella then put the ball back into danger, where it was met by Clucas at the back post, but his header was cleared off the line – leaving Cabo two behind as the half-time whistle blew.
Pat Devlin’s team continued to push forward in the second half, and they reduced the deficit through Kevin Knight’s spot-kick.
The Cabinteely substitute sent Tom Murphy the wrong way after Jonny Carlin was adjudged to have been bundled over by a Wexford defender.
Cabinteely were dealt a sucker-punch however within the space of two second half minutes though as Karl Fitzsimons volleyed home at the back post past Corey Chambers following a Doherty cross.
Their fourth was a carbon copy of their third, with Fitzsimons once again blasting home at the back post following a Doherty cross.
Cabo however did not lie down and went close through Clucas who saw his shot saved on the line by Murphy in the Wexford goal.
But it may also have been worse, with Chambers called into action on a number of occasions to prevent a fifth.
However, Cabinteely were once again undone after a spell of pressure in the 86th minute as Patrick O'Sullivan fired home.
The former Longford Town under-19 forward fired into the top corner of the net to seal the deal for the visitors after being teed up by a Charlie Smith pass outside the penalty area.
The result sees Wexford move off bottom spot in the First Division table, while Cabinteely remain in fourth. But they may drop out of the playoff positions on Saturday afternoon should UCD defeat Shamrock Rovers II at Tallaght Stadium.
Cabinteely: Corey Chambers; Eoin Massey (Kevin Knight 46), Jonny Carlin (Vilius Labutis 72); Dylan Thornton (Cian Kelly 77), Paul Fox, Keith Dalton, Jack Connolly; Steven Kinsella (Zak O'Neill 46), Luke Clucas, Shane Barnes (Kieran Marty Waters 46).
Subs not used: Peter Quinlan, Eoin McPhillips, Robert Dunne.
Booked: Jonny Carlin (44), Kevin Knight (57), Conor Keeley (85).
Wexford: Tom Murphy; James Carroll, Karl Fitzsimons, Craig Giles; Conor Crowley, Jack Doherty (Kieran Murphy 88), Jack Larkin (Patrick O'Sullivan 83), Jay Nwanze (Liam Berry 88); Karl Manahan, Charlie Smith.
Subs not used: Malike Benrouguibi, Kristian Crawford, Jack Lydon.
Booked: Karl Manahan (38).
Referee: Michael Connolly.
ExtraTime.ie Player of the Match: Jack Doherty (Wexford).