League 1 timelines, 27 Aug 2016: entertaining draws at Coventry and Walsall
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.
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:
With Swindon v Bristol Rovers being abandoned due to torrential rain we’re a match short this week. It looks like there were cracking – and fair – draws at both Coventry and Walsall while Bradford, Shrewsbury and Charlton will be justifiably disappointed not to have won in front of their own fans.
Bradford recovered from a horrible start to recover a point, although despite out-creating Oldham they needed a penalty to find the net. The visitors barely created anything after their early goal and didn’t shoot at all for the whole of the last hour – I’m not sure if this was due to being overly focused on defending their lead or simply being suffocated by their hosts’ attacks.
Despite continuing their unbeaten start it looks like Bolton were fortunate to take the lead here, having created far less than Charlton and not shooting at all in the second half apart from when scoring their goal. The hosts had a relatively flat second half themselves but deserved their late equaliser and will be disappointed not to have won this.
Finishing looks to have made the difference for Millwall in a game that was close – and relatively low on quality chances – from start to finish. The away side found themselves three goals up at half time after taking only six shots and found themselves pinned back by Chesterfield after the break. The Spireites got themselves onto the scoresheet but were unable to replicate their visitors’ fortune in front of goal.
This game could have easily had more goals in it, with both clubs creating sufficient chances to net twice. Coventry started more brightly but faded as the first half wore on, allowing Northampton to take the lead. The home side deservedly levelled matters just after the hour mark to set up an entertaining finish, with a draw – the Cobblers’ fifth from five league matches – a fair result overall.
It looks like MK Don’s finishing let them down here, with them edging a close match performance-wise but ending it empty-handed. The hosts’ two best spells came immediately after conceding Peterborough’s first goal and immediately before their visitors’ second, with the match otherwise being a tense, close affair.
This match started slowly and never really seemed to get going, yet somehow yielded four goals. With just six shot on target this wasn’t an occasion that either goalkeeper will remember too fondly. Scunthorpe looked the poorer side even before having a man sent off with 55 minutes played, although Port Vale’s margin of victory was probably a bit flattering.
Rochdale’s prospects looked bleak when they were reduced to 10 men in the 82nd minute while a goal down, but they rescued a point with a late rally. Wimbledon had taken the lead with the only shot that either side mustered in the first half an hour of this encounter and there wasn’t much else to get excited about until the hosts began to find their rhythm midway through the second half.
Sheffield United recovered from what looked set to be another disastrous home result, having found themselves a goal down and without even a shot to their name with almost half an hour played. However two second half goals in quick succession won them a fortunate-looking three points (a draw appeared fairer), with Oxford also only able to threaten sporadically.
While Shrewsbury look fortunate to have taken a two-goal lead into the half time interval, visitors Gillingham appear even more so to have snatched all three points in the second half. The Shrews were the more productive side overall and appeared unlucky enough to have seen the scoreline rebalanced before the Gills’ late winner.
Southend shocked Sheffield United at home a few matches ago and had the same thing done to them here by a nearly identical expected goals margin. Fleetwood created far more than their hosts overall and were worthy winners, with their defence barely having anything to deal with.
Games of two halves don’t come much more game-of-two-halves-ier than this. Walsall took a 3-0 lead into half time having out-created Bury (albeit not by anywhere a margin which would justify the scoreline), but the Shakers recovered magnificently. A very similar pattern of away goals saw the scores levelled in a second half dominated by the visitors, with a draw looking a fair result overall.