League 1 timelines, 29 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.

Individual matches

You can check how the E Ratings model predicted each match would pan out here.


Bolton raced into a three-goal lead here, with Port Vale barely getting a look in before their late consolation. The hosts were heavily fancied to win based on the strength of their defence and the visitors’ relatively shot-shy attack, with the latter unfortunately in evidence again here.2016-10-29-bristol-r-peterborough

I have no idea how Bristol Rovers didn’t win this one, having created enough chances to score four goals and keeping Peterborough almost completely quiet. The model predicted goals here – based on both clubs attacking far more capably than they’ve defended – but the Posh attack was surprisingly anonymous apart from the two chances they converted.2016-10-29-charlton-chesterfield

Charlton’s late goal will have been hard to take for Chesterfield but it looks to have been the least the Addicks deserved here after dominating the last hour. A quiet and even start lasted just over 30 minutes before the home side began to dominate, allowing their visitors virtually nothing in return.2016-10-29-fleetwood-gillingham

Fleetwood made the most of the final half an hour to secure a win here. Gillingham’s equaliser early in the second half came at a time when the two sides looked evenly matched, but the hosts took control thereafter and were rewarded late on with the winning goal.


Northampton’s opener late in the first half was one of few highlights up to that point, but triggered a deluge of chances from the hosts that lasted until they added two more strikes in the middle of the second period. Bury, who had been anonymous during this battering, somehow managed to fashion two replies from modest opportunities but were unable to complete what would have been an unlikely comeback.2016-10-29-oxford-millwall

The early kick-off saw Millwall, who the model fancies to recover from their poor start, grab a fortunate-looking win. The visitors created little compared to hosts Oxford, who had taken the lead but were unable to build on it. Their best chance to recover something from the game looks to have come late on.2016-10-29-rochdale-oldham

Rochdale were heavily fancied by the model to win here but this ended up being a close contest that should encourage Oldham. Both sides took a while to get going – the first half an hour looks to have been pretty forgettable – but matched each other closely thereafter. The hosts fared slightly better overall but this doesn’t look to have been a comfortable win.


This was a game to forget for Swindon, who didn’t even muster a shot in the first half. Scunthorpe once again displayed some ruthless finishing to open up an unassailable half time lead, with a much quieter second half failing to match the breathless – if one-sided – pace of the first.

Sheffield United restored their lead with the game’s best chance shortly after the hour mark to leave MK Dons hovering outside the relegation zone on goal difference. This was a quiet and relatively even game when the visitors made it 1-1, with the Blades’ winner coming from the standout opportunity of an otherwise flat second half.


Southend had the best chance of a seemingly dull game here, converting it to earn themselves a deserved-looking point. A forgettable second half saw neither side look likely to carve the other open again, with Shrewsbury perhaps the happier with a draw but remaining five points from safety.

Coventry looked well on the way to an away victory with an hour gone here, having significantly out-created their hosts thanks to a succession of chances either side of the interval. However Walsall sparked into life to control the latter stages of the match and managed to pull themselves level, claiming a slightly fortunate-looking draw.2016-10-29-wimbledon-bradford

Bradford look fortunate to have taken all three points here, having found themselves 2-1 down with less than a quarter of an hour to go and having not taken a shot for 45 minutes. However two late goals – the first a penalty to answer the spot kick that Wimbledon had converted to taken the lead – allowed them to keep the pressure on second-placed Bolton.