League 1 timelines, 10 Sep 2016: Bury’s rampage continues

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:


Bury’s attack has improved massively on last season’s showing and were impressive again this weekend, albeit at home to one of the division’s busiest defences. Elsewhere Northampton looked relatively comfortable when extending their run as the only EFL side not to have fallen behind in a match this season while their three fellow newly-promoted sides all gave good accounts of themselves, with varying results.

Individual matches


This was an even contest between two recently-relegated teams and the end result was probably a fair one. After a dull yet even first half, MK Dons’ strong start to the second saw them deservedly equalise and they contained a late Bolton fightback to earn a point.

This looks to have been a close game throughout, with both sides’ fortunes following almost identical trajectories. The first 20-odd minutes promised more than the rest of the match delivered, containing most of the good chances and three of the four goals, with the remainder of the action relatively flat by comparison. Rovers slightly out-created Rochdale overall and therefore probably deserved their second equaliser of the game and a share of the points.2016-09-10-bury-shrewsbury

A red card apiece either side of half time spiced this one up, with Bury responding far more effectively to theirs. The second half saw the hosts lay siege to the Shrews’ goal and earn a convincing win, although their visitors did enough overall to warrant their place on the scoresheet. The Shakers have been one of the division’s most impressive attacking sides so far this season and look better equipped than last season to sustain a promotion challenge.2016-09-10-fleetwood-charlton

Up until the hour mark this was a close match, with Charlton belatedly catching up after Fleetwood’s faster start. However only the Addicks kept pushing thereafter and their late equaliser was the least they deserved from a game in which they created better chances than their hosts overall.2016-09-10-gillingham-coventry

A draw was probably a fair result from an even yet scrappy-looking game here. Both sides did their best attacking before the break and each was rewarded with a goal from their most promising chance. Gillingham struck from their first attempt of the match and during the last hour only threatened Bradford’s goal in one relatively short burst, but they did enough overall to justify a point.

This was another game where a draw looks to have been the right outcome. Coventry started far more brightly than Millwall and took the lead from the second of two good first half chances. Their hosts took a while to move through the gears but began to assert control as the second half wore on, ending the game dominantly and having created chances of equal quality overall.

Northampton’s late penalty settled this match in their favour but Walsall had seldom looked like troubling them. The Saddlers were restricted to shooting infrequently and from poor positions, giving further weight to concerns that a repeat of last season’s promotion tilt is beyond their current squad.2016-09-10-oldham-chesterfield

While a point apiece looks to have been relatively fair on both Oldham and Chesterfield, it’s surprising that this game ended goalless rather than 1-1 or even 2-2 considering the chances they created. Both sides had ample opportunities to break the deadlock, with good chances in both halves, which should at least be a source of encouragement.

Swindon finished this game with nine men, but their first red card didn’t arrive until after the damage was done. Oxford’s opener from the penalty spot was compensation for a relatively dull first half but without it these two would have finished the game with uncannily similar expected goals totals, despite the Robins’ numerical handicap. 2016-09-10-peterborough-port-vale

The result – and indeed the scoreline – looks to have been fair here, although the two teams arrived at their final expected goals totals rather differently. Both Peterborough and Port Vale netted with their first chances of the game but, while the home side continued to plug away relatively regularly thereafter, Vale seemed to retreat into themselves and only managed one further attempt before a belated surge in the final quarter of an hour. This culminated in a red card for the Posh at the death, with the visitors converting the resulting penalty to earn a share of the spoils.2016-09-10-scunthorpe-southend

The scoreline may have flattered Scunthorpe slightly but they look to have been deserving winners nonetheless. After carving out a good chance early on, Southend were kept quiet for long spells here. The Iron have been the EFL’s entertainers so far this season: they’re the only club whose games have all seen at least three goals.2016-09-10-wimbledon-sheff-utd

Wimbledon look to have been unlucky not to have drawn this one, having matched Sheffield United throughout. Both clubs attacked more fluently in the second half than the first but the Blades benefited from some clinical finishing early on to continue their recovery.