Diarmuid Daly reports from Turners Cross.
Cork City rose two places to seventh in the SSE Airtricity League First Division table tonight with a convincing win over a luckless Wexford side at a rain-soaked Turner’s Cross as the Rebels ran out 5-0 winners.
The hosts were unchanged from their draw with Bray Wanderers at the Carlisle Grounds last week, while Brian O’Sullivan’s team showed two changes from their 6-0 home defeat at the hands of UCD.
New arrival Ross Treacy started between the posts in place of Jimmy Corcoran, who was serving a suspension after his extremely early bath at Ferrycarrig Park last week
Second-choice goalkeeper Seán Martin was also suspended after his own red card later in the game, while Kyle Robinson started up front in place of Paul Fox.
Despite both sides starting brightly, the hosts soon began to assert themselves and ten minutes into proceedings they had a penalty shout when James Carroll appeared to handle an awkwardly-bouncing ball on the edge of his own box but referee Eoghan O’Shea was uninterested.
Wexford’s luck didn’t hold though, and they were behind after twelve minutes when Cian Murphy had the freedom of the six-yard box to glance a header beyond Treacy from John Baxter’s in swinging corner.
Murphy’s goal emboldened the hosts. Gordon Walker and Cian Bargary looked threatening down their right-hand side, and Jack Walsh provided a useful fulcrum up front.
Five minutes after his first Murphy almost nicked a second; however Walsh’s flicked header from another wicked Baxter delivery just evaded his reach.
The Leesiders wouldn’t be denied for long though, and a set play was again the visitors’ undoing when Bargary’s long throw on 21 minutes allowed Walsh to again discomfit Wexford’s rear guard, and Darragh Crowley’s clever header looped over Treacy.
For a time the visitors looked like they might get back into the game but any hope that Wexford had of pegging City back before half-time was soon extinguished.
Walsh mishit a difficult chance on the edge of the visitors’ box after 28 minutes; the bouncing ball fell to Murphy, who snatched at his effort in an almost identical manner.
Treacy gathered and rolled the ball forward as the home attackers retreated but he hadn’t accounted for the coltish Murphy who charged forward as Treacy put boot to ball.
The former Drogheda United stopper watched in horror as the ball struck the City forward and bounced into the net.
Wexford came out for the second half looking demoralised and eight minutes in, Murphy could scarcely believe his luck when he again managed to charge down a clearance, this time from Luke Turner.
He raced down the right-hand channel and shot powerfully, but Treacy was equal to the near-post effort.
On 66 minutes, City made it four. Darragh Crowley’s effort from distance was central but bounced awkwardly on the slick surface. The unfortunate Treacy couldn’t gather, and substitute Beineoin O’Brien-Whitmarsh pounced to slide the loose ball home.
Wexford countered gamely, and had a flurry of presentable opportunities. Doherty’s free-kick from deep on the right found Luke Turner at the back post.
His surprise at finding himself isolated was betrayed by a poor effort which flew across goal. Shortly afterwards, Wexford had a glorious opportunity for a consolation after Baxter lost the ball in midfield.
Robinson advanced centrally with team-mates on either side and only Hakkinen between him and McNulty. The teenager’s somewhat selfish effort found only the Finn’s midriff, and City cleared.
Murphy, meanwhile, still had his eye on claiming the match ball. First he cut in from the left and skied a right-footed effort. Then from replacement Dylan McGlade’s free-kick, Coleman headed down for a gleeful Murphy to bundle home, only to be denied by an offside flag.
Wexford’s misery was not yet complete, however, as McGlade drove through the centre and released O’Brien-Whitmarsh to his left in the final minute of normal time.
The Fermoy striker flashed home a clinical finish at Treacy’s near post to rubberstamp Wexford’s seventh loss of the season.
Cork City: Mark McNulty; Jonas Hakkinen, Ronan Hurley, Gordon Walker; Darragh Crowley (Jamie Wynne 72), Cian Coleman (c), Alec Byrne, Jack Baxter (Dale Holland 80), Cian Bargary (Dylan McGlade 72); Cian Murphy, Jack Walsh (O’Brien-Whitmarsh 63).
Subs not used: David Harrington, Paul Hunt, Uniss Kargbo, Gearóid Morrissey
Booked: Gordon Walker
Wexford: Ross Treacy; Alex O'Hanlon, Paul Cleary, James Carroll; Harry Groome (Charlie Smith 84), Karl Fitzsimons, Jack Doherty, Conor Crowley, Luke Turner; Kyle Robinson (Jack Larkin 83), Karl Manahan (c) (Jack Connolly 55).
Subs not used: Kevin McEvoy, Evan Farrell, Anthony Dolan, Daniel Dobbin.
Booked: Karl Manahan, Jack Doherty
Referee: Eoghan O'Shea
ExtraTime.ie Player of the Match: Cian Bargary (Cork City)