It has been tough on the Leesiders, who have now been runners-up to Stephen Kenny’s side for the last three years and have been unlucky to be around at the same time as this great Dundalk team, who are rightly viewed as one of the best to have graced the League of Ireland.
However, there is still another huge date with Dundalk at Aviva Stadium on Sunday week, where City will bid to avenge last season’s cup final defeat, and with that game in mind, manager John Caulfield rested a few players last night and gave others a chance to impress ahead of the massive end of season showpiece.
Greg Bolger, Garry Buckley, Kenny Browne, and Steven Beattie were all suspended and Caulfield made another three changes to the side that defeated St Pat’s on Friday night.
Wexford could have overhauled Finn Harps on goal difference with two wins from their last two games, coupled with Harps losing their last game. However, City put that unlikely scenario to bed early on as they raced into a two-goal lead inside the opening 10 minutes. And Shane Keegan’s side will now have to prepare for a tough two legged relegation play-off battle with Drogheda or Cobh Ramblers to preserve their Premier Division status.
It looked like Keegan had resigned himself to the play-offs before the game had even started as he made six changes to the side that drew with Finn Harps on Friday night and they fell behind in the seventh minute following a swift counter attack which ended with Sean Maguire setting up the exciting Chiedozie Ogbene, who finished neatly past Graham Doyle from 10 yards.
Man of the match Ogbene made it 2-0 three minutes later from an almost identical position and this time he slotted the ball under Doyle after a delicate pass from Gavan Holohan.
Top scorer Maguire got in on the act in the 32nd minute when he took Stephen Dooley’s pass in his stride before expertly rounding Doyle and finishing from a tight angle, and Conor McCarthy made it 4-0 six minutes later when he forced home Dooley’s cross after more poor defending from Wexford. It continued to be all one way traffic in the second half and Ogbene set up Holohan for number five in the 52nd minute before the youngster had a great chance to grab a hat-trick from the penalty spot, after being brought down by Lee Chin. However his spot kick was well saved by Doyle in front of the Shed End, who could have a new hero to worship over the coming years.
McNulty; McSweeney, McCarthy (D Morrissey 69) Mulcahy, Kavanagh, Dooley (Turner 45), Healy, Holohan, Ogbene, Maguire (Coleman 45), O’Sullivan.
Doyle, Friel, McCormack (McCabe 75), Chin, Whittle, Quinlan (McCabe 71), Dempsey, Bonner, Porter (Keenan 68), Dunne, Furlong.
J McKell (Clonmel).