Carlow took top spot in Division 4 south of the National Football League when they struck late to steal the win from under the nose of a Wexford side who looked likely winners for long spells in the second half at Netwatch Cullen Park on Saturday.

Over the course of the 70 minutes, the home side lost three players to a black card and when they trailed by five points in the third quarter there didn't seem to be any way back for them.

Carlow struck for an early Jordan Morrissey goal but after leading 1-3 to 0-0 after sixteen minutes they only scored one more point in the half as Wexford hit back with two frees from Mark Rossiter and a further two points from play through the lively Tom Byrne.

From a 1-04 to 0-06 half-time deficit, the visitors tied the scores early in the second half and then hit their rivals with three-pointers through Sean Nolan and Liam Coleman. These scores were easily taken and by that stage Carlow looked to be in big trouble.

They dug deep, didn’t panic and gradually reeled in Wexford.

There was an element of fortune to Sean Gannon’s equalising goal as he diverted a high delivery from Darragh Foley past a startled Wexford defence.

Two minutes into injury time Sean Ryan slotted what looked like the winning point for the Model men but, in reply, John Murphy fired over an equaliser. When the visiting defence erred from the kick-out Carlow managed to steal possession as the referee threw in for a 50-50 tussle.

When Darragh Foley got his hands on the ball, the experienced midfielder had it all to do but he made space for himself and forced his effort inside the right hand upright at the scoreboard end of the ground.

There was time for no more and with two victories in as many games Carlow confidence is beginning to soar.

Carlow: Ciaran Cunningham; Jordan Lowry, Shane Redmond, Liam Roberts; Sean Gannon (1-0), John Murphy (0-01), Josh Moore; Eoghan Ruth, Darragh Foley (0-04 2f); Jordan Morrissey (1-01), Shane Clarke, Conor Doyle; Chris Blake (0-01), Paul Broderick (0-5, 2frs, 1 '45), Cormac Mullins.

Subs: Colm Hulton for Doyle (25), James McGrath for Blake (54), Sean Bambrick for Mullins (54), Tomas Kenny for Morrissey (69), Shane O’Neill for Broderick (69).

Wexford: Darragh Brooks; Eoin Porter, Martin O’Connor (0-01), Conor Carty; Paraic Hughes, Gavin Sheehan, Brian Malone; Liam Coleman (1-00), Niall Hughes; Tom Byrne (0-03), Sean Nolan (1-01), Kevin O’Grady; Mark Rossiter (0-03, 3f), Robbie Brooks, Ben Brosnan (0-01).

Subs: John Turbitt (0-01) for Brooks (35), Daithi Waters for Hughes (62), Sean Ryan (0-01) for Rossiter (65), John Dunne for Nolan (69).

Referee: Fergal Smyth (Offaly).