League 2 timelines, 8 Oct 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 was some frustration for a few of the home teams this week, with Exeter and Blackpool in particular both seemingly doing enough to win but having to settle for draws and Stevenage seemingly doing enough to at least share the points with Plymouth. A few away sides were more deserving of the points they took home: managerless Newport took Colchester the distance and Barnet looked to be heading for a deserved point until Doncaster found a late winner.

Individual matches

I’ve recently discovered the “gallery” option in WordPress which is a far more efficient way of displaying these graphics – click on any one to bring up a scrollable gallery or skim through to find the one you’re interested in. You can see how the E Ratings predicted each match would unfold here.