Wexford Youths claimed an unexpected draw in Turners Cross in front of 2,793 supporters. Eric Molloy had given Youths the lead on 15 minutes but Mark O’Sullivan salvaged a point for City on 85 minutes when heading home.
Cork City made two changes to the side that drew 0-0 with Sligo Rovers in the Showground’s last week with Greg Bolger returning from suspension and Gary Buckley starting in place of Colin Healy and Steven Beattie.
Wexford Youths having secured their first major last week at home to Bray made one change to the side with Chris Kenny fresh from scoring against Longford Town in the Leinster Senior Cup replaced Danny Ledwith in midfield.
The visitors quoted as high as 9/1 before the game were determined to be no pushovers as they brought the game to City in the opening minute with Eric Molloy forcing McNulty into an early save from distance. While Aidan Friel soon followed it with another shot but McNulty was equal to the effort.
The momentum was all with Wexford as Furlong mishit an effort on the edge of the box while Molloy fired wide from distance. City was struggling to get any forward momentum and Wexford punished them on 14 minutes.
Aidan Friel’s corner was over hit but Furlong retrieved it at the back post and passed to Molloy who side footed past a number of bodies into the back of the net. This goal was scored on the player’s 100th appearance for Wexford Youths.
City responded with one of their first attacking forays of the game on 15 minutes as Sean Maguire shot wide from outside the box.
Karl Sheppard should have equalised for City on 21 minutes when he rose highest at the back post following a Dooley corner but couldn’t direct the ball on goal. Dooley was then guilty of taking too much out of the ball when played through by Sheppard.
Gearóid Morrissey saw a shot go wide as City just couldn’t get shots to challenge Doyle in the Wexford goal.
Maguire had a shot blocked superbly by Doyle for a corner following a short free kick from Bolger as the underdogs went in a goal up at the break.
The second half saw City come out reenergised as they looked to close the gap. This was a half that City dominated with Buckley the first to go narrowly wide from a header. While Eoghan O’Connell saw his free from 20 yards go narrowly wide of the goal.
Man of the match Graham Doyle made a superb point blank save from Maguire on 64 minutes getting down low to push his header out for a corner. Doyle was magnificent in the second half denying Turner’s powerful header.
The wave of attacks showed no sign of letting up with Sheppard seeing his shot blocked Doyle and then somehow Sheppard managed to hit the crossbar from a matter of yards following a mazy run down the end line by Steven Beattie, who played much of the game at right back.
Yet the attacks finally proved fruitful as O’Sullivan rose highest to head in a Sheppard cross.
This gave City hope of claiming three points but despite City having 15 corners over the 90 minutes they couldn’t find a way past the courageous Wexford defence lead by Doyle with Buckley coming closest in injury time.
Cork City: Mark McNulty; John Dunleavy, Eoghan O’Connell, Kenny Browne, Kevin O’Connor (Steven Beattie 43); Gearóid Morrissey (Mark O’Sullivan 70), Greg Bolger; Karl Sheppard, Garry Buckley, Stephen Dooley (Ian Turner 60); Sean Maguire.
Subs Not Used: Alan Smith, Colin Healy, Danny Morrissey, Gavan Holohan
Yellow Cards: O’Sullivan (88)
Wexford Youths: Graham Doyle; Craig McCabe, Gary Delaney, Stephen Last, Ryan Delaney (Andy Mulligan 82)[; Lee Grace; Eric Molloy (Danny Ledwith 92), Chris Kenny, Aidan Friel; Paul Murphy (Conor O’Keeffe 93), Danny Furlong.
Subs Not Used: John Peare, Conor English, Conor Whittle, Matt Connor.
Yellow Cards: McCabe (38), Delaney (87), Grace (88)
Referee: Tomás Connolly
Extratime.ie Man of the match: Graham Doyle (Wexford Youths)