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Match 38 - Eastleigh (h)

Updated: Apr 16, 2020

Firstly, given the current circumstances around the Coronavirus outbreak and potential match postponements please be aware that I am continuing as though the season will be completed at some point.

12 points out of 12 in the league for The Magpies on the back of the away defeat at Hartlepool. Add to that the 5-0 win over Aveley and Neal Ardley's men have won 5 games on the trot, scoring 16 and conceding just 2 goals.

Nearly 5,000 turned up at Meadow Lane for the game against Eastleigh which amidst the postponement of football in the top 4 divisions became the biggest game in the country.

Looking at the match stats Notts came out well on top and although Eastleigh were given plenty of opportunity to threaten the Notts goal they only managed the one shot on target.

Notts' PPG has increased to 1.66 and now sees a season total prediction of about 76 points which with 8 games left to play should be more than enough to secure a play off spot.

Points needed for third place then is obviously 76 points and Barrow's average currently suggests a first place finish on 87 points . . . but more on this later.

Below is the updated progress chart using the calculations I introduced last week which suggests a 3rd place finish is most likely.

We have now seen 20 league games at Meadow Lane this season.

Notts have accrued 38 points at home following the win over Eastleigh with a PPG of 1.90 and a +20 GD.

Season stats after this weekend's matches vs the NL average.

Goals scored/conceded by time segment. I've been suggesting for a few weeks now that Notts are looking stronger the longer a game goes on and that was definitely the case again against Eastleigh and further confirmed by the goal segment graph below.

Of the 61 league goals scored so far this season 36 of them (59%) have been in the second half. Goals conceded are spread quite equally across the 90 minutes.

Minutes played in all competitions updated below.

Minutes per goal involvement updated following the Eastleigh win sees Callum Roberts just behind Kristian Dennis as one of the clubs most effective players when it comes to goal involvement.

Kyle Wootton continues to lead the goals + assists table after his brace against Eastleigh which now sees him with 18 goals and 4 assists in all competitions. Kristian Dennis and Callum Roberts both grabbed a goal and an assist and Mitch Rose chipped in with two assists.

Kristian Dennis remains the most efficient striker of those scoring 2 or more goals taking 124 mins to score a goal or a goal every 1.38 games. Callum Roberts hasn't taken long to get himself on the leader board and already has the 3rd best return in terms of goals per minutes played behind Dennis and Wootton.

Another attacking display saw 17 attempts on the Eastleigh goal meaning a goal every 4.25 attempts which is better than the current season average. As you can see from the visual below Notts were close to being a constant threat to the Eastleigh goal.

Attacking efficiency (home)

Notts currently manage to score roughly every 6.5 attempts on goal at home.

Defensive resilience (home)

Notts concede a goal roughly every 11.5 attempts against at home. This suggests they still invite a degree of pressure from the opposition but remain resilient under that threat.

Despite seeing plenty of the ball Eastleigh were one of the least threatening teams to play at Meadow Lane this season.

Next is our regular look at how the last games affect the possible end of season league position outcome.

With only a handful of games being played the win for Notts sees them edge closer to securing a top 3 position, but more than that, for the first time this season the calculations I use for trying to forecast final table positions shows Notts are now firmly in the race for the title. Obviously there is a lot that has to happen for that to become a reality and it is helped by the fact Barrow and Harrogate didn't play but the probability is now evident.

Of the current top 12 Yeovil look the most likely to fall out of the top 3 race but should still secure a play off spot. Stockport and Solihull look likely to fade with Hartlepool and Barnet likely to have strong finishes. Boreham Wood and to some extent Halifax will still have aspirations of a top 3 finish.

Bromley no longer figure in the calculations at this time.

If we were to consider last 10 game form and expected goals and factor that into the current league table then Notts would finish in 3rd place with 83 points.

As it stands the top 12 would look like this:

There is so much to consider now with just 8 or 9 games left to play that I've decided that the race for the title is worthy of some deeper analysis so will cover this in a separate article.

Finally, Neal Ardley's record updated.

With the win over Eastleigh Ardley now has a win percentage of just over 40% during his time in charge of Notts to date. Win percentage for the National league is now up to nearly 45%.

So on to Torquay on Tuesday night . . . or is it?

As always thanks for reading, COYP!