Cork looked to have snatched all three points when Vincent Escude-Candau stroked home a last-minute penalty after Ian Turner was taken down in the box by Packie Holden but Elmes scored with his first touch two minutes into added time to put a major dent in City’s promotion bid.
Cork went into the game on the back of a five-game winning run and manager Tommy Dunne had to make one enforced change from the side that defeated Limerick in the EA Sports Cup semi-final last Monday. Davin O’Neill, injured in that game, was replaced by Daryl Horgan.
Wexford Youths looking for a confidence boost ahead of the FAI Cup fourth round clash with City at Ferrycarrig Park in two weeks time.
Noel O’Connor’s side should have found themselves one down with only a minute on the clock when Vinny Sullivan shot straight at Packie Holden from 10 yards after the ball had deflected off Shane Duggan in the box.
The lead goal wasn’t long coming for City however and it was leading scorer Graham Cummins, who bagged his 13th league goal in the seventh minute when he headed home Danny Murphy’s pinpoint cross from a free-kick.
The Turner’s Cross faithful expected the floodgates to open after that but Wexford had keeper Packie Holden to thank for keeping the score down to 1-0 at the break as he made a couple of terrific saves to deny Vinny Sullivan and Daryl Horgan.
Kalen Spillane also hit the crossbar with a header in the first half and City had a blatant penalty turned down by referee Kevin O’Regan when Graham Cummins was brought down by Martin Kehoe after outmuscling the Wexford centre back.
With a one-goal lead, City were always vulnerable to a breakaway goal and the impressive Danny Furlong pounced in the 63rd minute after Shane Dempsey’s through ball put the striker in and he made no mistake slotting the ball into the corner of Mark McNulty’s net.
Cummins missed a one-on-one when shooting straight at Holden before Ian Turner was unlucky to see his effort fly inches wide before the late drama, which could prove very costly to City.
CORK CITY: McNulty, Turner, Spillane (D Morrissey 81), Kavanagh, Murphy, D Horgan, Duggan (G Morrissey 86), O’Halloran, O’Brien, Sullivan (Escude-Candau 62), Cummins.
WEXFORD YOUTHS: Holden, Nolan, Keogh, Kehoe, Broaders, Vickers (Grincell 78), Yelverton (Dempsey 62), Wall, Ryan (Elmes 90), Furlong, Walshe
Referee: K O’Regan (Kerry).