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Last Updated: Saturday, 22 March, 2003, 13:58 GMT
Earnie sends records tumbling
Rob Earnshaw
Earnshaw has stamped his name into Cardiff's history books

He left it late, but Robert Earnshaw finally capped a memorable season in appropriate style.

His strike against Mansfield on 21 March equalled Stan Richards' 56-year record of 30 league goals in a season, ending a hot streak of five goals in three games.

From that point on, though, he went on a dry run, eight successive games without a goal.

Sixty-four minutes into the final league game of the season against Crewe, Earnshaw fired in a low strike to add Richards' Cardiff league scoring record to the most goals in a season record he had taken from Hughie Ferguson earlier in the year.

CARDIFF SCORING RECORDS
Most goals in a season:
35, Rob Earnshaw, 2002/3
32, Hughie Ferguson, 1926/7
31, John Toshack, 1968/9
Most league goals in a season:
31, Rob Earnshaw, 2002/3
30, Stan Richards, 1946/7

"Getting this record is like a fairytale for me," said Earnshaw.

"To score that goal was unbelievable, I felt like I did scoring for Wales against Germany."

Earnshaw's proficiency in front of goal has attracted hordes of Premiership scouts to Ninian Park, Everton being the latest team to be linked to the diminutive front man.

But Cardiff owner Sam Hammam insists his star asset is "priceless" and will not be leaving the Welsh capital.

Manager Lennie Lawrence is equally fulsome in his praise: "He's made a huge, massive contribution this season," Lawrence told BBC Wales Sport.

"At 22 he's got the world in front of him. His goal to chances ratio is phenomenal."

Club captain Graham Kavanagh added: "He's been phenomenal. He's dug us out of trouble so many times."

Rob Earnshaw indulges in his regular goal celebration
Earnshaw risks seeing his somersaults become blasť

Perhaps there is one down side to the striker's continued success.

The attention-hungry Earnshaw has attracted headlines and reams of photographers' film for his acrobatic goal celebrations, involving a full frontal somersault.

Having seen the stunt performed so many times, there is a danger that his fans are starting to consider it distinctly blasť.




CARDIFF CITY

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