League 2 timelines, 16 Sep 2017

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

I was at Cambridge v Coventry and while the data feels a bit harsh on the home side they were definitely fortunate to win. I was very impressed with Jodi Jones for the visitors – if they’re not in the play-off zone by Christmas they might struggle to hold onto him. 

Elsewhere another good Cheltenham performance saw them rewarded after a frustrating start to the season. Morecambe put in a surprisingly good performance (based on recent games) to defeat rejuvenated Newport while Exeter made short work of Crewe – and put in a solid defensive showing that was overdue – to remain top of the table.