How effective are the top shot producers in the Scottish Championship?

Martyn Waghorn
Martyn Waghorn

written by – Rangers Report

The following presentation of statistics was influenced by a tweet sent out by hockey analyst Dimitri Filipovic.  Filipovic discusses hockey analytics on his podcast – The Hockey PDOcast.

One of the first statistics you naturally look for when analyzing players stats is – which players are generating the most shots?  Goals are such isolated incidents throughout the course of a match, it is natural to look for the players who are giving themselves the best chance  of scoring by getting a high volume of shots towards goal.

Of course, getting shots on goal is one thing…actually beating the keeper on a semi-regular basis is another thing.  Below you have the list of each player in the Scottish Championship who is averaging at least 2.0 shots per 90 minutes, along with their shooting percentage (which measures the percentage of shots on target that end up as goals).  A player had to have a minimum of 20 total shots to be considered.

Shot volume v Shooting %

For some context, the league average for shooting percentage is 0.293.  So players like Ross Forbes (Morton), Dominique Malonga (formerly of Hibs), Denny Johnstone (Morton), & Will Vaulks (Falkirk) are all generating a high rate of shots but are finishing below the league average.

Ross Forbes

Ross Forbes season has been a bit comical for me to follow.  The midfielder has taken 54 shots, which is the fifth most in the league.  Of those 54 shots, just 12 have actually been on target – which means only 22% of his shots actually test the keeper.  Forbes has scored one goal this season…so basically when Forbes lines up a shot – there is a 2% chance that he will actually score.  Plus, guess who leads the league in having his shot blocked?  Forbes has had 19 of his shots blocked.  So there is a greater chance that Forbes will have his shot blocked then get his shot on target.

Morton should also be worried that their top forward is also below the league average in shooting percentage, despite getting 2.4 shots per 90 minutes.  Denny Johnstone is on loan from Birmingham City & has really struggled in the role of Morton’s #9.  Johnstone has 33 scoring chances (High/Very High Danger shots) this season & he has only turned those into four goals.  He has seven goals on the season in 1,931 minutes played.

On the other end of the spectrum you have players like James Keatings (Hibs), Kenny Miller, John Baird (Falkirk), & Jordyn Sheerin (Livingston) who are generating shots & finishing at a much higher rate then the rest of the league.

Jordyn Sheerin & Lee Wallace, courtesy of Eric McCowat

Livingston’s Jordyn Sheerin (longtime friend of the Rangers captain) is the only player on this list who does not get consistent playing time.  The 26-year old forward has only started seven matches this season & has gotten on the pitch in 19 of Livingston’s 24 matches.  Despite only playing 770 minutes, he has generated 20 shots & averages 0.25 Expected Goals per 90 minutes.  Sheerin’s problem has been his accuracy – only seven of his shots have tested the keeper.  But of those seven shots on target, three have beaten the goalie for goals.  His 0.35 goals per 90 minutes is second on the team to Liam Buchanan who averages 0.45 goals per 90.  Buchanan has nine goals this season in 1,605 minutes.   Buchanan has been a sensational finisher this season (0.529 shooting percentage) but struggles to get the volume of shots (1.68 shots per 90) that other top strikers are generating.  Buchanan only has ten more shots this season than Sheerin despite playing 835 more minutes.

Below we broke down each of the players in the league who average at least 2.0 shots per 90 minutes & looked at how many goals they get per 90 minutes.  Rangers’ Kenny Miller is the league leader.

Goals per 90 of top Shot Producers in Scottish Championship

At some point, I need a Hibs’ supporter to explain to me why James Keatings has only been on the pitch for 46% of Hibs minutes this season.  He has dealt with some injury issues this season but has only started 12 of the 17 games he has played.  He averages 56 minutes per match.  But when he is on the pitch he averages 3.3 shots per 90 minutes, has scored seven goals (0.57 goals/90), & 64% of his shots on target have beaten the keeper.   That’s the type of production & efficiency you want on the pitch for a full 90.  Right?

None of the aforementioned stats include today’s matches.

You can follow Rangers Report on Twitter @TheGersReport



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