Why shouldn’t we read too much into the opening-day result?

Here’s a bunch of statistics about the opening game of the season, results, sequences and their impact or otherwise on final league positions. Also I’m keen to hear your favourite opening game of the season, please use the comment box below… 

  • Swindon Town have been drawn as hosts on the opening day of a Football League season for the 48th time in 88 seasons;
  • Town have won 62% of their games when playing their opening game of the season at the County Ground, drawing 19% and suffering defeats in the remaining 19%;
  • However when playing game No.1 away, Town’s record is 15% win success, 25% draws and 60% of the 40 games ending in defeat;
  • The 9-1 result in first ever game in the Football League versus Luton Town at the County Ground on 28th August 1920 remains our highest league victory and margin of victory;
  • Town’s 6-1 defeat at Bury on 22nd August 1964 remains our heaviest defeat on the opening League fixture;
  • Swindon have never won their opening game of the season (home or away) and finished in 23rd or 24th position in any Football League division;
  • However, Town have won their opening fixture when playing as hosts on three occasions and on each occasion have been relegated / re-elected to the Football League;
  • Focusing on the probability of the final league position following a win, draw or lose following playing that season’s opening fixture at the County Ground:

2014.08.05 1st League as Hosts and Fate

  • Swindon have never drawn the opening game when played at the County Ground and then been promoted, finished in the play-offs, or relegated / re-elected;
  • Town last lost as hosts in the opening fixture in 2010/11 in a 1-2 defeat by Brighton & Hove Albion;
  • Before that Town lost 2-3 to Sheffield Wednesday in 2003/04 as hosts;
  • Swindon haven’t drawn as hosts on the opening day for 13 years;
  • When Town have won as hosts on the opening day, the record number of successive victories following that result was six in 1963/64;
  • Following Swindon’s 1-2 home defeat to Blackpool on the opening day of the 1980/81 season, Town then lost a further four games – before narrowly avoiding relegation from Division Three by a single point;
  • When drawing the opening game of the season (home or away) Town have only once gone on to draw the next League game. This happened in 1960/61 when Swindon opened with a 1-1 draw with Halifax, then drew 2-2 at Tranmere and 1-1 at Shrewsbury before finally winning 1-0 as hosts to Tranmere in the fourth game;
  • Below is a table showing the number of occasions in which Swindon Town have finished in League positions 1-24 since our election to the Football League in 1920/21. Town have finished at least twice in each of the 24 positions, with the highest occurrence of finishes in 4th, 5th, 6th, 8th and 16th.

2014.08.05 League Position Frequency

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