League 2 timelines, 14 Aug 2016: Blackpool fail to make their chances count

A quick explanation

You can skip this if you’ve seen these before.

Returning from last season, here are match timelines for each of the weekend’s matches. There’s a full explanation of these here, but in a nutshell they track how each club’s expected goals tally (the number of goals that the average team would have scored from the chances that they created) increased over the course of the match.

This allows us to get a better sense of how each game played out than from just watching a highlights package. Every jump in a line is a shot, with bigger jumps corresponding to more promising chances (at least as far as we can tell from the limited data available at this level). There are two numbers next to each club’s name: the first is how many goals they scored and the second (in brackets) is how many goals the average club would have scored from their shots. The latter number is what the lines track, with dots on the lines showing goals scored.

You can browse previous timelines by selecting “VISUALISATIONS > TIMELINES” from the menu.

Side-by-side comparison

First of all, here are all of the match timelines side-by-side and using the same vertical scale, which makes it easier to pick out which games saw the most (and least) goalmouth action. I always sort matches by date and then alphabetically by the home team’s name in these posts to make it easier to find a specific one:

L2 2016-08-14

It looks like Morecambe v Blackpool (bottom row) provided the most entertaining spectacle with almost four goals’ worth of chances combined, with the Tangerines leaving empty-handed despite creating the larger share. Elsewhere both Orient and Grimsby mounted a late but doomed bid to claim points that they will surely have felt entitled to.

Individual matches

2016-08-13 Barnet Accrington

Barnet may have taken the points but this was ultimately a close game. Visitors Accrington didn’t really get going until the second half, by which point they were already behind, but had begun to find their rhythm before their hosts’ second goal. Few will be expecting Accrington to repeat last season’s strong showing, but the performance here was at least an encouraging one.2016-08-13 Carlisle Plymouth

The two Devon sides occupy the relegation zone at present and on the evidence of this showing the Pilgrims can have few complaints. Plymouth barely threatened apart from a decent chance in the final ten minutes and while hosts Carlisle hardly put them to the sword they were worthy winners.
2016-08-13 Colchester Cambridge

Despite an early goal for the home side the first half looks to have been relatively sluggish. The second period however appears to have been a lot more entertaining (for the home fans at least) as Colchester pushed for – and eventually converted – a second goal to kill the game off. Cambridge look to have been kept at arm’s length for much of the contest, unable to match their hosts’ chance creation.2016-08-13 Crewe Portsmouth

It’s two draws out of two for Portsmouth so far and unlike last weekend, when Carlisle withstood a heavy barrage to escape with a point, this looks like a relatively even game. Neither they nor Crewe started particularly urgently, with both saving their best for late on but ultimately proving unable to break the other down.

2016-08-13 Doncaster Crawley

Crawley scored poorly in the E Ratings last season and looked lucky to stay in the division; despite them taking four points from the first six available I’m not yet convinced that things have improved. They edged an even game with Wycombe last weekend and offered little besides their goal here, while Doncaster recovered from a slow start to control the last hour of this game.

2016-08-13 Exeter Hartlepool

Exeter probably thought that they had this one in the bag at half time, with their visitors only able to get one speculative first half shot away just before the interval. However a Hartlepool late show turned the match on its head with 15 minutes to go and, while an away win looks slightly fortunate, the magnitude of their second half improvement merited at least a share of the points.

2016-08-13 Leyton O Newport

The proverbial kitchen sink was hurled at the Newport goal here as a relatively turgid match sprang into life with a quarter of an hour remaining. Neither they nor hosts Leyton Orient had created much of note up until then and both had endured long spells without a shot, but the home side more than doubled their attacking output in the last 15 minutes in their fruitless search for an equaliser.

2016-08-13 Luton Yeovil

On the hour mark of this encounter it looked like an even – if stodgy – game, with Luton just about deserving their lead, but the last half an hour belonged to Yeovil. The visitors rattled in a succession of good chances and seem to have deserved their equaliser: their attack is showing signs of an upgrade from the often-toothless front line of last season.

2016-08-13 Mansfield Cheltenham

You could have turned up half an hour late to this one and not missed a single shot on goal, and in truth you could have arrived during half time without anything of note having transpired. While Mansfield at least got their act together shortly after the interval, resulting in the opening goal, Cheltenham’s late equaliser came from only their second shot of the match, suggesting that the Robins will be relieved to have left Field Mill with a point.

2016-08-13 Morecambe Blackpool

The best attacking performance of the weekend was Blackpool’s showing during their short trip to Morecambe. The Tangerines came flying out of the traps and look to have created more than enough chances to earn their early lead, but were unable to last the distance. The home side had struggled to find an opening until their penalty on the stroke of half time levelled the scores and it took them almost half an hour to threaten again as they snatched a winner in a comparatively stodgy second half.

2016-08-13 Notts Co Stevenage

Stevenage took the lead with their first shot of the match here but otherwise failed to threaten until almost the stroke of half time, with hosts Notts County deservedly pegging them back. However the home side look to have run out of steam after their equaliser, with the visitors offering a greater – if sporadic – threat in the second period.
2016-08-13 Wycombe Grimsby

A forgettable first half showing from both teams saw over half an hour of football without a shot of any description. Despite Grimsby compensating more energetically than their hosts in the second half it was Wycombe who triumphed, netting a late winner to deny the visiting Mariners a point that they will surely feel was the least they deserved.