Andrew Dempsey reports from Hadden Park
Wexford sealed their place in the last eight of the FAI Cup thanks to a professional performance against Leinster Senior League side Killester Donnycarney, winning 2-0.
Goals from Tyler Dunphy and Karl Manahan sealed the deal for the Slaneysiders after a dominant second-half display.
They will now join UCD in the quarter-finals of the competition as the two sole second-tier sides left standing.
A resurgent Wexford came into this potential banana skin with a real incentive on their hands.
With a win, they would join First Division rivals UCD in the hat for the last-eight of the FAI Cup, and for a side that were in dire straits before the appointment of Ian Ryan, that was nothing to be scoffed at.
Killester-Donnycarney came through their first-round tie against Usher Celtic after a late Eoin Fowler winner seperated the sides on that occasion.
But Gary Howlett’s side have struggled in recent months with player departures. Although, they have been able to recruit former Shelbourne and Bohemians winger Karl Moore ahead of this season.
Unfortunately for the Hadden Park side, they could not call upon the services of Moore for this specific game, with the ex-Man City trainee missing out on a start through injury.
And their pre-season struggles were almost exploited early on as Wexford made a quick start to the game.
Jack Doherty went close before being forced off with an injury, while Jack Moylan too fashioned an opening that Jack Lydon batted away.
Incredibly, however, the Leinster Senior League side almost broke the deadlock through forward Eoin Fowler.
Fowler pounced on a loose ball but he could only see his early chance crash off the top of the bar as the First Division side breathed an early sigh of relief.
Steven Nolan also went close for the 2020 FAI Intermediate Cup runners up shortly after, but that was after Wexford ought to have taken the lead through Harry Groome.
The Shelbourne loanee headed straight at Lydon after some great play from Karl Fitzsimons found the young forward free inside the penalty area.
It was Killester, although, who finished the half off the stronger of the two sides, but neither Mark Ryan nor Fowler could suitably test Jimmy Corcoran as the side’s went in at the break scoreless.
Wexford, emerged a much better side in the second-half, and their early intent was rewarded in the 56th minute as they took the lead through Tyler Dunphy
Dunphy was found free inside the six-yard box after Evan Farrell forced a mistake from Craig Giles, tapping home into an empty net.
That was after Moylan saw an effort clip off the woodwork for Ian Ryan’s young guns who were exerting more and more dominance on proceedings.
And if going behing wasn’t difficult enough, Killester’s task got even more more challenging after Ryan Robinson was dismissed for a late lunge on Paul Cleary.
From the resulting attack, Wexford grabbed their second. Some good play from Paul Fox found Karl Manahan free on the edge of the penalty area, with the Greystones native finding the top corner with a great strike.
Dunphy almost grabbed a second of his own late on, but he saw his strike on goal crash off the bar, with Farrell blasting over the rebound.
But that mattered little as Wexford reached the last eight of the FAI Cup for the first time since 2016 with minimal fuss as the Slaneysiders resurgence under their new boss continued.
Killester Donnycarney: Jack Lydon; Sean Rogers, Ryan Robinson, Steven Nolan, Craig Giles; Mark Ryan (Josh Scully 83), Michael Kelly, Stephen Chambers (c), Sam Burgess (David Blake 88); Eoin Fowler, Robert Dunne (Karl Moore 79).
Subs not used: Gary Kenna, Evan White, Darren Kavanagh, Cian Whelan, Eric Madden, Matthew Taaffe.
Booked: Sean Rogers (34), Michael Kelly (65), Eoin Fowler (78), Craig Giles (90).
Sent off: Ryan Robinson (64).
Wexford: Jimmy Corcoran; Kevin McEvoy, Lorcan Fitzgerald (c), Paul Cleary (Cian Kelly 83); Jack Moylan, Karl Manahan, Karl Fitzsimons (Nicky Leonard 83), Jack Doherty (Jack Connolly 3), Thomas Considine (Paul Fox 46); Harry Groome (Tyler Dunphy 46), Evan Farrell.
Subs not used: Sean Martin, Donal Porter, Ayman Yousif, Luke Scanlon.
Booked: Evan Farrell (39) Lorcan Fitzgerald (65).
Referee: Kevin O'Sullivan.
extratime.com Player of the Match: Jack Moylan (Wexford).