The Non-League Paper publish weekly fair play league, and as a lover of numbers and statistics I decided to break it down into National League teams only and have a look at the results.
I’ve used the criteria of FA Penalty points, which takes all yellow and red cards and works out how serious they were (extra points for violent conduct, etc). From there I’ve put together a league table of the dirtiest teams in the National League.
City come out in the middle of the table. We’ve had 51 cautions this year, which is average in terms of numbers. It is more than all four of our current championship rivals, but unsurprisingly less than Barrow, the team I thought would be the dirtiest.
We’ve had three red cards too, with Sean Raggett, Elliot Whitehouse and Bradley Wood all having been dismissed. That is two more than Barrow, but three less than the worst offenders, Guiseley. Our defeat there in the league did contribute to one of theirs and one of ours though.
Interestingly we’ve only received five bookings for dissent, something I think is a reflection of our managers ethos. Bromley (13), Sutton (13), York (12) and Maidstone (12) head up the dissent table. It doesn’t surprise me to see Sutton up there, obviously tougher referee’s have clamped down on their antics, something we got a taste of in August. Barrow are a distant seventh, with seven of their 59 bookings coming for dissent.
Interestingly (by interestingly I mean, interesting to me), if you take away the bookings for dissent, Aldershot are actually one of the toughest teams. They have 54 bookings for fouls and just four for dissent, which means they are dirty but they don’t pick up bookings arguing the toss.
The teams apparently playing the fairest are Boreham Wood and our opponents this Saturday, Woking. Woking also have the fewest bookings for dissent, which I think was evident from our clash. They seemed to just ‘get on with it’ which led to the free flowing game we witnesses at Sincil Bank. Unfortunately there are no points added on for having a rambling buffoon of a manager.
It’s worth noting that two sides battling relegation, Woking and Southport, are amongst the teams with the fewest bookings. You would expect teams to pick up bookings and dismissals when fighting for their lives, as in the case of York, Maidstone and Guiseley. I’d guess that Southport might change tact now, especially with Andy Preece in charge. Expect their bookings to escalate as he moulds them into a far tougher, uglier unit.
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