League 1 timelines, 20 Aug 2016: a false dawn for Shrewsbury?

A quick explanation

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

As usual, here are timeline graphics for the latest round of 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 the highlights. Every jump in a line is a shot, with bigger jumps corresponding to more promising chances (at least as far as I 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 denoting the goals they actually 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:

L1 2016-08-20

There were convincing-looking wins for Bradford and Scunthorpe, although the Bantams had two penalties and a red card to aid their cause. Shrewsbury (bottom left) looked more fortunate to have claimed their victory, with visitors Chesterfield looking more dangerous overall, so perhaps their first win of the season isn’t a sign that they’ve turned a corner from their disappointing start.

Individual matches

2016-08-20 Bolton Fleetwood

After a close first half in which they fell behind, Bolton responded in style with a dominant second half performance ending in a deserved victory. The E Ratings suggest that Fleetwood are better than last season’s league position would suggest and creating 1.5 goals’ worth of chances away at the Reebok equates to an encouraging display.

2016-08-20 Bradford Coventry

Coventry were reduced to 10 men midway through the second half, but it looks as though containing Bradford fully occupied them since they went ahead early on. The visitors barely troubled the home goal after scoring and the home crowd had little to cheer for much of the first half. However the hosts sparked into life after the interval and rained in a succession of chances, although they ultimately needed two penalties to win the game.

2016-08-20 Bury Oldham

An early own goal settled a dull game here and Oldham will be very happy to have left Bury with all three points. Their hosts out-created them and had the game’s two most promising chances in the second half, but ultimately look to have paid for a flat first half performance.

2016-08-20 Millwall Sheff Utd

The timing of Millwall’s late winner from the penalty spot will have been tough for Sheffield United to take, but even without it the Blades were second best here. Both clubs had netted in a first half low on goalscoring chances and the second wasn’t much better, with neither side able to trouble the other regularly.

2016-08-20 Northampton Wimbledon

Northampton started more quickly here but look to have run out of steam as the match wore on. Visitors Wimbledon didn’t really carve out much of use until late in the first half and started the second more purposefully than their hosts. The Cobblers weren’t able to make their home advantage count and overall were probably the luckier to finish with a share of the points.

2016-08-20 Oxford Peterborough

This looks to have been a relatively close match until the closing minutes, when Peterborough conceded what turned out to be the match-winning penalty. The visitors had earned their equaliser just after the hour mark but seem to have shut up shop afterwards – perhaps intending to preserve the point – and allowed Oxford to dictate the remainder of the game.

2016-08-20 Rochdale MK Dons

MK Dons snatched a win at the death here. Apart from an early surge by the visitors, neither side had offered much in the first half but Rochdale were the busier for much of a more engaging second. Both sides created enough chances to earn a place on the scoresheet in an even game, but Dale were unable were unable to find a way through.

2016-08-20 Scunthorpe Gillingham

This was a dominant win for Scunthorpe, who largely contained Gillingham and put in the weekend’s most impressive attacking performance. With only two of their five goals – their second (from the spot) and their fifth – resulting from clear-cut chances, the margin of their victory owes much to clinical finishing but the result seldom looked in doubt.

2016-08-20 Shrewsbury Chesterfield

Chesterfield can feel hard done by here, having created far more overall than their hosts and finishing the game with several good – but unconverted – chances. Shrewsbury hardly threatened other than from the opportunities that led to their two goals, with roughly 45 minutes between their second goal and their previous attempt.

2016-08-20 Southend Bristol R

A score draw was probably a fair result here, as this was a close game in which both teams created enough chances to score. Southend needed a penalty to find a way past Bristol Rovers’ defence, having started better but without creating many opportunities from good positions. The hosts also survived a late onslaught as their visitors pushed to restore their lead.

2016-08-20 Swindon Port Vale

Swindon’s goal shortly after half time looks to have stunned Port Vale, who had ended the first half in better shape but had a very quiet second half apart from a few late forays. The home side just about edged this one on chance quality, but their visitors created enough to get on the scoresheet themselves and will be wishing that they’d made more of their close-range chances before the break.

2016-08-20 Walsall Charlton

Walsall’s equaliser came with the game finely poised, but Charlton’s near-immediate response earned them the win here. The hosts’ failure to capitalise on a good chance with almost 30 minutes gone looks to have cost them, as they created little of note thereafter and allowed the visitors to fire in several promising efforts of their own.