League 1 timelines, 24 Sep 2016

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:


There were dominant wins for Carlisle (top left) and Portsmouth (bottom left), while Crawley (in between those two) finished their game strongly to record a potentially crucial victory. I was surprised to see Yeovil – whose attack has struggled for a while – rack up so many goals against Cheltenham’s usually streetwise defence.

Individual matches

You can also see how the E Ratings predicted each of these games would turn out here.


A game of few chances ended with what looks like the right result – and one that the E Ratings considered relatively likely. Bradford have looked stronger at the back than up front for quite a while and Bolton have allowed few chances this season.2016-09-24-bristol-r-port-vale

With Port Vale struggling to create any chances of note after going ahead, hosts Rovers would have been the worthier winners even without their second half penalty. There was no goalmouth action at either end for over 15 minutes after half time until the home side sprang back into life, but there was no such resurgence for the visitors.2016-09-24-bury-chesterfield

Two of the division’s busiest attacks – and lowest-rated defences – met here and there were plenty of chances as expected. Chesterfield didn’t really get going for the first 20 minutes but kept pace with their Bury thereafter, although they were out-created overall by their hosts overall.2016-09-24-fleetwood-mk-dons

If you subtract MK Dons’ two penalties there really wasn’t much of note created here. The first half in particular saw few chances and Fleetwood’s goal came from their first attack of the second half, so this doesn’t look to have been a classic encounter.2016-09-24-gillingham-coventry

Coventry can feel a bit hard done by after an even game overall, although Gillingham’s attacks look to have been the more regular here. The Gills quickly cancelled out their visitors’ opener and were comfortably ahead on chances created until a late Sky Blues rally.2016-09-24-millwall-rochdale

Two second half surges from Rochdale saw them come from behind to record a precious win. Millwall had been reduced to 10 men not long after the visitors’ equaliser and looked to be holding out for a draw before conceding a late penalty.

Southend weren’t predicted to do well here but were holding their own until losing a man shortly after half time precipitated something of a collapse. The resulting penalty doubled their hosts’ lead and a scrappy second half saw Northampton coast to a comfortable (if flattering) victory with some clinical finishing.2016-09-24-oldham-swindon

Oldham’s attack has been the division’s worst-rated for a while now and they were worryingly blunt here. Swindon were allowed to control the match for long spells without reply and ran out deserving winners.2016-09-24-oxford-charlton

A Charlton penalty looks to have been deservedly cancelled out by Oxford here to leave both sides with a point. The hosts had started far more brightly and threatened regularly throughout, with the Addicks creating little of note besides their spot kick.2016-09-24-peterborough-walsall

Walsall looked fortunate to cling on for a point here, having taken an early lead but allowing Peterborough to create plenty of chances in return. However the Posh were unable to make their dominance count and missed the opportunity to move into the top six.2016-09-24-scunthorpe-sheff-utd

A late Sheffield United penalty rescued a point after they had been reduced to 10 men and fallen behind. This had been a fairly even game before the dismissal, so perhaps a draw was a fair result overall. With these two flying high in the ratings it was a respectable result for both teams.2016-09-24-wimbledon-shrewsbury

Despite taking control of a relatively stodgy-looking encounter with half an hour remaining, Wimbledon were unable to find a winner that would have put some welcome distance between them and the bottom four. The first hour had been dull but even, with the hosts firing in several good chances thereafter to no avail.