Jason Ryan hailed the strength in depth of his squad as Wexford scored six of the game's last seven points to snatch victory over Longford after more than 140 minutes of action.
Longford dominated so much of the game and in centre-back Michael Quinn, had the game's outstanding figure.
They wasted numerous goal chances -- Brian Kavanagh, Paul Barden and Paul Kelly all had gilt-edged opportunities -- and that was to prove critical in the end as Redmond Barry stole in for Wexford's late winning point.
As expected, Ciaran Lyng was ruled out with a leg injury and with the likes of David Murphy and Aindreas Doyle also absent, one wondered if Wexford would have the players to cope with these losses. Ryan introduced five subs, and he felt that their influence was crucial as Wexford finished so strongly in the final 10 minutes.
"Of the team that got to the All-Ireland semi-final in 2008 there's just one player who is still playing in the same position and that's Anthony Masterson in goal," said the Wexford boss. "We have an awful lot of new faces.
"Coming into the game today we had five guys who would normally be starting or pushing for places so that's a big, big blow. We were still able to bring on players though who made a big, big difference, so it's a good day for the group today. The squad got us through that so we're really happy.
"Colm Morris, Joe Wadding, Paddy Byrne and James Holmes all made a big, big difference when they came into the game."
Unsurprisingly, Longford boss Glenn Ryan was disconsolate, still struggling to believe that his men hadn't continued what has been a brilliant season for them so far. "That was very, very hard to take. I just feel bad for the lads," said the Kildare native. "It's a gutter because we should have won it. We had the chances. They kicked some fantastic scores. But the lads can be very, very proud of themselves."
Barden burst out of the traps with two quick points and finished the first half with three.
Brian Kavanagh added two very good scores as well and with defenders Quinn and Shane Mulligan also on the mark, Longford went in at the break leading by 0-8 to 1-4.
Kavanagh wasted a very good goal chance when dragging a shot wide and with Barry having planted a low shot to the corner of the Longford net in the ninth minute, that was to prove critical.
Longford continued to hold the upper hand for most of the second half, although Ben Brosnan and Shane Roche were more of a threat for the victors than had been the case prior to that.
Barden shot wide with only Anthony Masterson to beat, having been sent through by McCormack, while Paul Kelly blasted inches over just before that. Having wasted so much ball, McCormack then burst into life, winning and converting frees while also kicking a couple of excellent scores from play.
His 55th-minute score under huge pressure from Niall Murphy, who was subsequently replaced, put four points between the sides but from the 59th minute, Wexford embarked on that match-stealing run.
It began with a Brosnan free from 44 metres and was quickly followed up by Roche. McCormack fisted over for Longford after skinning Joey Wadding but that 61st-minute effort was his side's last score.
A minute later, the remarkable Quinn pulled off a brilliant block on Brosnan with the goal gaping and when the latter sent the resultant '45' wide, you felt that Longford might hold on.
But it wasn't to be as Brosnan converted another free before last week's five-point hero Adrian Flynn, who had been blotted out brilliantly by Donal McElligott until then, popped up with his first score to reduce the margin to one.
Brosnan brought the sides level for the first time since the 35th minute when winning a break from a Longford kickout and carrying the ball inside the '45' before shooting over on the run.
That set the stage for Barry, who created space brilliantly before curling over a wonderful right-footed effort.
Scorers -- Wexford: S Roche 0-5 (2f), R Barry 1-2, B Brosnan 0-4 (2f), A Flynn, PJ Banville 0-1 each. Longford: S McCormack 0-6 (4f), P Barden 0-4, B Kavanagh 0-2, M Quinn, S Mulligan, P Kelly 0-1 each.
Wexford -- A Masterson 7; N Murphy 6, G Molloy 7, R Tierney 6; A Flynn 6, B Malone 6, L Chin 7; D Waters 7, R Quinlivan 6; C Carty 6, E Bradley 6, B Brosnan 7; PJ Banville 7, S Roche 8, R Barry 7. Subs: P Byrne 7 for Quinlivan (47), C Morris 7 for Carty (47), J Leacy 6 for Bradley (53), J Wadding 6 for Murphy (58), J Holmes for Tierney (64).
Longford -- D Sheridan 7; D Reilly 6, B Gilleran 6, D Brady 7; CP Smyth 6, M Quinn 9, S Mulligan 8; B McElvaney 7, J Keegan 7; D Barden 6, P Barden 8, D McElligott 7; D Barden 6, B Kavanagh 6, S McCormack 7. Subs: P McCormack 7 for N Mulligan (h-t), P Kelly 7 for D Barden (45), J McGivney 6 for McElligott (63), P Foy 6 for S Mulligan (67).
REF -- C Lane (Cork).