Earnie's up there with best of them

PUBLISHED: 13:35 08 May 2007 | UPDATED: 10:17 14 September 2010

DAVID CUFFLEY

Robert Earnshaw has proved to be City's most deadly striker since Chris Sutton - despite three months on the sidelines. Earnshaw's total of 19 goals in 30 Coca-Cola Championship appearances in 2006-07 was the best for the Canaries in league football since fellow Welshman Iwan Roberts scored 19 in Nationwide League Division One in 1998-99.

Robert Earnshaw has proved to be City's most deadly striker since Chris Sutton - despite three months on the sidelines.

Earnshaw's total of 19 goals in 30 Coca-Cola Championship appearances in 2006-07 was the best for the Canaries in league football since fellow Welshman Iwan Roberts scored 19 in Nationwide League Division One in 1998-99.

But Roberts played 45 Nationwide League games to reach his tally eight years ago, half as many again as City's current top scorer, who was out from mid-January to mid-April, recovering from an operation on a serious groin injury.

Earnshaw came within one goal of being the first Norwich player to score 20 times in the league since Sutton scored 25 in 41 outings in the FA Premiership in 1993-94.

The 26-year-old Wales international also had a fractionally better strike rate for the season than Sutton 13 years ago - a goal every 1.57 games compared to one every 1.64 matches - although Sutton was, of course, playing in the more elevated world of top-flight football.

However, Earnshaw's Norwich career record of 27 goals in 47 appearances in all competitions - a goal every 1.74 games - stands comparison with the best in club history.

Of those scoring at least 30 goals for City in their unbroken run in the top two divisions since 1960, Ron Davies averaged a goal every 1.91 games, Ted MacDougall 2.09, Hugh Curran 2.34 and Justin Fashanu 2.58. In Division Three South days in the 1950s, Roy Hollis average a goal every 1.81 games and Ralph Hunt 1.83.

Darren Huckerby finished second behind Earnshaw in this season's goal chart with 13, five of them in the FA Cup, while Dion Dublin and Dickson Etuhu scored seven each.

Etuhu made most appearances with 50, missing just three games in all competitions, with Jason Shackell close behind on 48 and Adam Drury on 45.

City used 36 players in all competitions, three more than last season and the highest total for 60 years. In the first season after the war, 1946-47, 37 players appeared.

Huckerby has most City career goals of the current squad with 43 in 166 games. Skipper Drury has most appearances with 260, a figure he can greatly extend if he signs the new four-year contract on offer to him.

Patrick Bexfield and Bally Smart each played in 17 of City's 18 Pontin's Holidays Combination matches, while Michael Spillane was the reserves' top scorer with four goals in 10 outings, three of them penalties.

Luke Daley missed just two of City Under-18s' 30 matches, while Chris Martin was top scorer for the youth side with seven goals in 11 games - adding a further five goals for the first team and three for the reserves to his tally.

As previously reported, official league gates at Carrow Road in 2006-07 dropped by less than one per cent to an average of 24,589.

Well over one million spectators watched City's 53 games in all competitions with a total of 1,044,341 through the gate, fractionally down on 1,057,827 for 2005-06, when there were three fewer matches.

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