From ecstasy to agony for Prem star Boyce

Emmerson Boyce
Emmerson Boyce
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Aylesbury had an unlikely hand in the race for Champions League football and Premier League survival at the weekend.

That’s because former Quarrendon School pupil Emmerson Boyce scored at both ends in his Wigan side’s rollercoaster 2-2 draw with Tottenham Hotspur.

Latics skipper Boyce saw ecstasy turn to agony as he scored a far post header to draw his side level on 11 minutes after Gareth Bale had put Spurs ahead two minutes earlier.

With Wigan third bottom of the Premier League and relegation rivals Aston Villa not in action until their 6-1 thrashing of Sunderland on Monday night, victory would have briefly taken them out of the dreaded dropzone.

So when the controversial Callum McManaman made it 2-1 to Wigan, Boyce and co looked set for a much-needed three points.

It was not to be, though, as Spurs kept their top four hopes alive when Boyce put through his own net right at the death.

The point may yet prove to be key in the race for survival but puts added pressure on Wigan’s game in hand against Arsenal.

And the Barbados captain hopes that match does not overshadow the club’s historic first FA Cup Final appearance a week Saturday.

“We need to maximise our own points tally, which includes winning our game in hand,” said the defender, who is the club’s longest-serving outfield player.

“We have to try to bridge that gap between ourselves and safety as quickly as possible,” Boyce said last week.

“The last thing we want to be doing is going to the FA Cup Final, thinking about the more important game we’ve got coming up the following Tuesday in the league.

“It looks like that might have to be the case anyway, given the situation, but if we have to do that, then that’s the way it is.”

Wigan have four games left to make up a five-point gap between themselves and safety and Boyce feels it could come down to a final-day shoot-out at the DW against relegation rivals Aston Villa.

“We’re quietly confident that, if it comes down to us and Villa on the last day, we can beat them,” he added.

Boyce brings his Wigan side to face West Brom this afternoon (Saturday) in what is surely a must-win game.