Monday 28 August 2023

Ground #390 - The Nest 3G (Norwich)

Date: 12th August 2023
Ground: The Nest 3G
Location: Norwich, Norfolk

My fifteenth new ground of 2023 was on Saturday 12th August at The Nest 3G in Norwich, Norfolk. The game was Dussindale & Hellesdon Rovers vs. Haverhill Borough in Eastern Counties League Division One North.

The Nest is a community sports complex on the north-west outskirts of Norwich. The first phase opened in 2018 with additional phases added since then and now consists of two full size-pitches (one grass and one 3G) and six smaller pitches. The venue is 4.5 miles north-west of Norwich railway station and is surrounded by farmland on three sides and bordered on its eastern side by Norwich International Airport. 

The 3G pitch is a cage one with three sides available to spectators. The ground is accessed through the building known as 'The Hub' which has the dressing rooms, a nice cafe and other event spaces. This leads directly out to pitchside with the roof of the building extending out over the seating area. This seating consists of a long single row of 101 seats which goes from the western end to just beyond the halfway line. The remainder of this side is uncovered hard standing.

The eastern and western ends are uncovered hard standing up to the edge of the cage on the southern flank. As with other cage venues it is entirely hard standing rather than a mixture of hard standing and grass in other non-cage venues. The southern side is not accessible for spectators but does have the two dugoutss.

The game was early on in Dussindale & Hellesdon's first season at senior level with this being their second home game of the season. The visitors started brightly with Archie Cowe going close in the 11th minute as he was unleashed down the left, ran in on goal and saw his near post shot palmed away by the keeper. As the game entered its second quarter Dussindale came into the game, with forward Conor Durrant being the danger man. In the 23rd minute a ball up field resulted in him nipping in front of the away keeper only for a covering defender to block his shot on goal. Eight minutes later a similar passage of play saw Durrant round the keeper and slot home but this time he was denied by the offside flag. Less than a minute later it was third time lucky - another ball up to Durrant and despite a defender for comfort he slotted the ball across goal into the side of the net. Durrant switched to provider a minute before the break when he slipped in Harry Blossom who did well to sidestep a defender and poke the ball past the advancing keeper from close range. Haverhill could have reduced the deficit in injury time when Ryan Weaver's header in the six-yard box was saved point blank by Nathan Pauling. Any hopes for the second half didn't last long - barely two minutes after the restart Tom Cullumbine picked up the ball on the right, nipped around the keeper and slotted into the empty net. It was mostly one-way traffic from here - in the third quarter both Cullumbine and Jack Bibby failed to convert chances and Tom Fisher rattled the crossbar with a 25-yard drive. In the 88th minute the hosts grabbed number four - Jack Richardson got to the byline and pulled back for Luke O'Neill to knock in from inside the six yard box. In injury time there was time for two more chances, with Will Bennett hitting the crossbar and Richardson hitting the side netting after rounding the keeper. A comfortable win for Dussindale who could've scored a hatful beyond the four they dispatched.

Result: Dussindale & Hellesdon Rovers 4-0 Haverhill Borough
Division: Eastern Counties League Division One North
Attendance: 50

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