Earnshaw can be the greatest

PUBLISHED: 12:35 02 September 2006 | UPDATED: 09:37 14 September 2010

DAVID CUFFLEY

It's early days - but if Robert Earnshaw maintains his current strike rate he could become Norwich City's hottest hot-shot of all. Earnshaw's record of 12 goals in his first 20 appearances, including four in five games so far this season, has given him a flying start to his Carrow Road career.

It's early days - but if Robert Earnshaw maintains his current strike rate he could become Norwich City's hottest hot-shot of all.

Earnshaw's record of 12 goals in his first 20 appearances, including four in five games so far this season, has given him a flying start to his Carrow Road career.

Only a select handful of the Canaries' top goalscorers have averaged better than a goal every two games in their time with the club.

In fact, in City's unbroken run of 46 years in the top two divisions, only one man - also a Wales international - has managed that rate over a sustained period.

Ron Davies' record of 66 goals in 126 matches between 1963 and 1966 gave him an average of a goal every 1.91 games and earned him a ticket to the top flight with Southampton.

Others have matched that rate over a short period, such as Laurie Sheffield with 16 in 29 games (1.81) in 1966-67, while Earnshaw's quickfire start gives him a current rate of a goal every 1.66 games.

Of course, other factors have a bearing on the figures. Ted MacDougall's 66 goals in 138 games (2.09) and John Deehan's 70 in 199 (2.84) included many penalties, whereas Iwan Roberts, with 96 in 306 (3.18), scored just six spot-kicks.

Chris Sutton, with 43 in 127 (2.95), played at least a third of his games for City in defence, while Terry Allcock scored 113 in his first six seasons and just 14 in his last six after switching roles.

Prior to the 1960s, in Division Three South days, the goals certainly flowed. Roy Hollis scored 59 in 107 (1.81) and Ralph Hunt 72 in 132 (1.83).

Even Earnshaw, who continues his quest for goals with Wales in the Czech Republic in a Euro 2008 qualifier tonight, will do remarkably well to stay ahead of that sort of strike rate.

City's goalden wonders

(minimum 30 goals since 1960)

Apps GoalsSR

Ron Davies126661.91

Ted MacDougall138662.09

Hugh Curran124532.34

Justin Fashanu103402.58

Kevin Drinkell150572.63

Craig Bellamy91342.67

John Deehan199702.84

Chris Sutton127432.95

*Jimmy Hill195662.95

Peter Silvester113373.05

*Terry Allcock3891273.06

Kevin Reeves132423.16

Iwan Roberts306963.18

*City career started 1958

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