The Year 7 Quest Academy football team made history before the Easter holidays by reaching the prestigious Croydon Cup final for the first time in the school’s history winning 2-1 after extra time against Whitgift.
Quest travelled across the borough in a much anticipated clash against one of the country’s most renowned sports schools.
Quest started the game slowly with nerves looking like they were getting the better of the them. Whitgift controlled the 1st half with some nice possession based football and some positive, quick decision making. It was no surprise then that Quest went 1-0 down 20 mins into the game. A cross was played in from a wide position by the Whitgift winger. The ball was not cleared properly by the Quest defence and a Whitgift player was on hand to poke home from close range giving them the lead.
After a firm talking to from Mr Wilder at half-time and a couple of tactical substitutions in which Cayden E and Matthew H replaced Zak W and Alfie P, Quest started to show the class which had brought them to the semi-final in the first place. Quest started to keep possession of the ball far better and started to dominate the physical battle in the middle of the pitch, as well as showing more belief.
Then 10 mins into the 2nd half the Quest fans got the reward they were so desperately in search for. The midfield general Rizgar B picked up the ball near the halfway line and proceeded to run forward with the ball beating 2 Whitgift players in the process. The Whitgift players failed to close Rizgar down which allowed him to release an unbelievable shot from outside the box which flew into the top corner giving the keeper no chance. TAKE A BOW, WHAT A STRIKE! 1-1 and game on!
Quest continued to dominate and were unlucky not to nick a winner before the final whistle after wasting a couple of glorious chances.
After some debate with the other manager and the ref, the game went to extra time with 5 mins each way to be played before a dreaded penalty shoot-out!
The first 5 mins went by in a flash and the Quest players trotted off for a 1 minute break knowing they only had 5 mins left to win this game the proper way!
Then in the 9th minute of extra time, with only a minute to go, the left foot wand of Nathan N sent the Quest team and fans into jubilation. The ball was picked up out wide and crossed into the box by Rizgar B. Whitgift failed to clear the ball and it fell to the feet of Nathan N 10 yards from goal. He shifted the ball onto his famous left foot and it felt like time almost stood still for a second. He unleashed a ferocious shot which hit the underside of the bar before nestling nicely into the back of the net. The Quest boys went crazy and deservedly so!
The boys held out for the remaining minute and celebrated at the final whistle by huddling in the centre of the pitch to celebrate their success together.
The boys will now be playing in the Croydon Cup final W/C 29TH April @ Croydon Arena, with the date, time and opponent to be confirmed. Along with this they are also the Croydon Schools C Division champions, winning the league with an unbeaten record.
WELL DONE BOYS, AMAZING RESULT! Now for the League and Cup double!