League 2 timelines, 22 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.


I’m away this weekend so only have time to quickly dump the timelines into a gallery with a few quick observations. If you want to see how the model predicted each game you can revisit the previews here.

Two results really stand out as unlucky this weekend: Accrington and Portsmouth both dominated their matches but finished with just one point between them. Colchester and Luton also registered draws despite creating enough chances to win their games.

Doncaster were gifted the perfect start with a first-minute Blackpool own goal, but ended up not having a shot of their own until the second half, by which point they’d conceded four times. Blackpool had been one of the division’s more wasteful finishers this season despite creating plenty of chances, so perhaps they were overdue a clinical afternoon in front of goal.