League 2 goals analysis: an early view

One of the additional capabilities I developed over the summer was a detailed goal analysis tool. While the new season continues to provide fresh data, we’re still approaching the point where team-by-team comparisons become meaningful. However there’s no harm in having a look at the sort insights we can expect to see.

The graphic below shows every goal scored in League 2 so far (that is, up to and including 19th September):

Sufficient information is captured for each goal to allow slicing and graphing in a number of ways. There isn’t a statistically meaningful amount of data to justify going to town on this just yet, but below are some initial observations to give you an idea of how it can be used:

Set pieces

  • Bradford and Exeter are the most dangerous sides from corners, each having netted 3 times from them. By comparison Wimbledon are the most vulnerable, having conceded 4 while nobody else has shipped more than 2 in this fashion.
  • A third of the goals that in-form Port Vale have conceded have been from the penalty spot (3 from 9). Gillingham on the other hand have already scored 3 penalties this season, and netted a further 3 goals from throw-in situations.

Goal types

  • Morecambe and Oxford are the only 2 teams yet to score a headed goal, while a whopping 7 of Gillingham‘s 15 goals have flown in off somebody’s bonce.
  • The most aerially vulnerable team is Barnet, who have conceded the most headed goals (5).

Scoring positions

  • Burton have scored half of their goals (7 out of 14) from outside the penalty area, while precisely the same number and proportion have entered Oxford‘s net from this range.
  • Southend are the close-range kings, with 7 of their 10 goals being converted from inside the 6 yard box.

Making use of the wings

  • Chesterfield are getting a lot of joy down the right wing: 9 of their 12 goals have originated down that side of the pitch, while 7 of the 9 goals conceded by Accrington originated on their opponents’ right flank – is left back a problem position for them?
  • Bradford are making best use of the left wing, with it supplying 7 of their 14 goals, while Wimbledon and York have both conceded the same amount from their opponent’s left flank.


  • Chesterfield tend to start matches well – 5 of their 12 goals have been scored in the opening 15 minutes and they have yet to concede in this period. Wimbledon by comparison have conceded 6 goals in the opening quarter of an hour – a third of all the goals they’ve shipped.
  • Fleetwood are masters of the late show, with half of their 12 goals being scored in the final 15 minutes of matches suggesting high levels of fitness and/or concentration. Their opposites are Morecambe, who concede over half of their goals (7 out of 12) in the last quarter of an hour.