The surprising form of Lincoln City – part 3

With part 1 setting the scene and part 2 looking at the defence this post is going to look at Lincoln’s attacking play through the season. Again the season is broken down into the four now familiar portions

Goals scored Shots on target Scoring percentage
Under Sutton (1-9) 5 32 15.6
Under Lindsey (10-12) 2 13 15.4
Under Tilson (13-21) 10 29 34.5
Under Tilson (22-28) 13 27 48.2

The last number in bold is obviously the one that sticks out to me. The league 2 average scoring percentage (of shots on target) is ~30%, so scoring with 48% of shots on target simply won’t continue over an extended period of time.

As an example I’ll compare these results to those of four other teams that had a successful 7 game periods in 2010.

Goals scored Shots on target Scoring percentage
Spain 8 45 17.8
Holland 12 46 26.1
Germany 16 42 38.1
Uruguay 11 42 26.2
Total 47 175 26.9

Across the four teams there’s a nice distribution of results, with Germany scoring a high proportion of their shots and Spain scoring less of the time. Even so none of the teams come close to the 48% that Lincoln have been at recently. Given the league 2 average scoring percentage is ~30% how many goals should we have expected Lincoln to score?

Percentage of shots on target scored Goals scored per 27 shots on target
Games 1-21 25.7 ~7
Under Tilson (22-28) 48.2 13
League 2 average ~30 ~8

So rather than the 8 goals that would be expected Lincoln’s attack has actually produced 13, a 6 goal improvement over the season so far and 5 goals more than would be expected from a league average strikeforce.

So what does all this mean? Well Lincoln are extremely unlikely to continue scoring 48% of their shots on target through the rest of the season. It’s an anomaly of form that even the best teams in the world performing well at the world cup weren’t able to get near to producing. The teams true talent is more likely to lie somewhere between City’s season long average of 27% and the league 2 average of 30%. Reasonably that’s what we should expect over the remainder of the season.

Part 4 will go on to look at how we can expect the team to perform over the rest of the season and how that translates to points in the league.

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