League 1 timelines, 4 Sep 2016: frustration for Bolton

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 2016-09-04

We’re a few matches short this week due to international call-ups. The most eye-catching timeline is the first one, where Bolton fell behind at home to Southend early on but then dominated the rest of the match. The Trotters were unable to dig out the win that their performance looks to have deserved, but remain top of the division thanks to Bradford’s draw at Millwall.

Individual matches

2016-09-03 Bolton Southend

Southend took an early lead here but barely troubled Bolton thereafter and look lucky to have taken anything from this match. The hosts deservedly equalised shortly after half time and created enough chances to win the game; particularly in the second half when their visitors didn’t manage a single attempt.2016-09-03 Bury Port Vale

This was a convincing attacking performance from Bury, who dominated the first half and racked up an unassailable lead thanks to some clinical finishing. Port Vale fared much better after half time and created enough to merit their place on the scoresheet, but the damage had already been done before the interval.

2016-09-03 Fleetwood Coventry

Coventry were mostly anonymous before half time here and their improvements after the break were insufficient to keep the scores level. Fleetwood themselves created little of menace until the second half, when they look to have switched emphasis from quantity to quality. This doesn’t look to have been a classic encounter but the hosts look to have been the worthier winners overall.2016-09-03 Millwall Bradford

The E Ratings currently rank these two as the strongest sides in League 1 and they largely cancelled each other out in the first half here. Bradford can feel the happier with a share of the points, having benefited from an own goal just before half time and being out-created overall, although they successfully contained hosts Millwall for long spells.2016-09-03 Oldham Shrewsbury

Oldham gave as good as they got here and pulled a late goal back despite being reduced to 10 men after 70 minutes. Shrewsbury were struggling to get into the match until they took the lead with a penalty shortly after half time, and therefore were perhaps fortunate to take all three points overall.2016-09-03 Oxford Rochdale

Oxford look to have edged an even game with a goal at the death here – Rochdale had given as good as they’d gotten throughout and were unlucky not to have scored themselves. The hosts only managed one effort at goal in the first half an hour and looked to be running out of steam late in the second period before netting with what looks to have been their best opportunity of the match.2016-09-03 Peterborough Swindon

Two second half penalties saw Swindon briefly equalise before being pegged back by hosts Peterborough, who will be the more disappointed with a share of the points. Apart from their spot kick the Robins created little of menace, with their second equaliser resulting from an own goal, although their hosts also started and ended the game relatively slowly.2016-09-03 Wimbledon Chesterfield

Wimbledon’s first ever third tier win (in their current incarnation anyway) was a close-run affair, with their stronger start to the second half getting them deservedly back into the game. Chesterfield kept pushing and, despite creating slightly less overall, can be legitimately disappointed to have conceded a late goal given how quiet their hosts had been since their equaliser.

2016-09-04 Northampton MK Dons

The first Sunday match looks to have been all about the finishing, with an impressive 10 of the game’s 13 shots finding the target and half of those 10 ending up in the back of the net. Most of the action took place in the first half, with a late MK Dons consolation one of the few high points in a flat second half. Northampton remain the only EFL side yet to have been behind in a league match this season, while only Notts County have now trailed for longer than MK Dons.

2016-09-04 Gillingham Sheff Utd

Gillingham took the lead here with only their second attempt of the match, but visitors Sheffield United didn’t offer much themselves before half time. While both teams threatened more regularly after the break it was the Blades who truly found another gear, rattling in sufficient efforts to earn three points even before their late match-winning penalty.