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After my posts on Port Vale and Gillingham, I was asked to have a look at the differences penalties have made to the division – the impression being that Gillingham’s early season form was propped up by Danny Kedwellpen; certainly there was a time in the summer’s twilight that he seemed to be netting from the spot every week.

Here’s the League Two table as it stands.

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Familiar looking chap, isn’t he? Always a surprise to see Bristol Rovers and Wycombe struggling like that, but we’re used to it now. What would happen to that table, then, if there had been no penalties scored (if 79 goals) over the course of the season? What would the table look like then? Well, it would look like this (the numbers on the right are the original positions, though the teams are ranked as they would be normally.

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Teams in green have gained points, teams in red have lost them. Teams in black have done neither. Interesting, isn’t it, that the two top teams are level pegging on penalties. To be honest, that makes sense to me. They’re so far clear of the others that the odd penalty here and there might make a point or so of difference, but it wouldn’t cause them to lose games they’d otherwise win because the gap in standards is so great between them and the rest. The other, lower, teams, though are perhaps more interesting. The better teams all seem to not need penalties to get points, but beyond that, some are getting a decent season of spot kicks. Others aren’t. Want to see how the congested middle table was changed in terms of points? Here’s a lovely little graph explaining just that.

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Beware Fleetwood Town, then!

Addendum. It has been brought to my attention that Gillingham’s goals against tally is incorrect – it must have skewed while sorting the sheet. I didn’t work out any of the game outcomes the same way, so I’m happy they’re still accurate.

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