The Quest Academy year 9 boys football team made history on Friday 29th March by beating the team top of the A League, Harris Crystal Palace 2-1 after extra-time, to reach the Croydon Cup final becoming the first Quest side to do so since the school was founded in 2010!
The game started poorly for Quest after we arrived late for the KO after having to wait for some key players to return from a school trip. A big shout out must go to Miss Parker and Mrs Patel for their fantastic team effort in returning these students back to school earlier than originally planned. Despite this we were still pushed for time and an adequate warm-up was not possible as the other school were keen to get the game going due to their school closing! For this reason Quest inevitably started the game like a team who were not prepared, going 1-0 down after only 5 mins.
The game – being played on a poor pitch – was scrappy in the first half as Quest tried to get themselves back into the game. They managed this just before half-time when the hard working Hakim A was brought down by the goalkeeper after taking the ball around him during a one on one situation. Hakim stepped up and dispatched the penalty down the middle, through the keepers legs, given Quest real belief that could go on and win this game now it was 1-1.
After half-time Quest stepped up their game and really started to dominate. Their confidence grew and this was shown in the number of chances that were created. Eric A had a glorious chance to make it 2-1 after some wonderful wing play left him one on one with the Harris goalkeeper, but he sprayed his shot wide. Hakim A was then put through one on one with the goalkeeper but this time his shot was saved. Abdullah S then scored what looked like a legitimate goal but this was given offside by the ref.
The game ended at 1-1 and with Harris pushed for time as their school was due to close, a straight 5 minutes of extra time was agreed and if no score occurred it would then be the lottery of penalties!
However penalties were not needed after Quest scored a history breaking goal. The impressive Eric A, who was making his debut for the team played a fantastic ball diagonally across the pitch to the oncoming Abdullah S who was on hand to smash home a tremendous half volley which lobbed the keeper and nestled into the top corner sending the players and Mr Wilder into jubilation. Quest remained calm for the final 2 minutes and held out for a momentous victory. The joy on everyone’s face was clear to see.
Despite this brilliant victory the Quest players were informed they have won nothing yet, and tougher opposition will be awaiting us in the final. We are now due to play the successful year 9 boys of Riddlesdown in the Croydon Cup final at the Croydon Arena on the first week back after the Easter holidays, with the exact date still to be confirmed. Please do come along and support the boys if you can.