July was a bad month in Europe for Wales. First TNS exited, and then Rhys Weston of Iceland’s KR and Matthew Tipton of Linfield went out in the next round.
This week, however, Lost Boyo-participation in the Champions League group stage was assured when Celtic defeated HJK Helsinki 4-0 on aggregate to book their place in the first round proper of Europe’s elite competition. Adam Matthews played every minute of those two games, while Joe Ledley played 65 minutes of the first leg.
SJK’s poor July form continued into August, drawing and losing their first games in August. Later in the month, they began to show some of their early season form, winning three on the trot. Welshman Richard Dorman played in the first two games, and the latter two of the three wins (1-0 against Viking, and 3-0 against PK-35 Vantaa). The club remain second in the Ykkönen, but promotion looks very unlikely given the 20-point gap between them and first-placed RoPS.
Rhys Weston was not part of the match-day squad as his KR side defeated Stjarnan 2-1 to win the club’s second consecutive Icelandic Cup and extending their record number of wins to 13. Englishman Gary Martin equalised for KR and Baldur Sigurdsson got the winner.
The chances of the Reykjavík adding the league title to their cup win are beginning to look slimmer. KR ended the month six points adrift of leaders FH. Weston played two league games in August, both games ending in defeat against Valur (2-3) and ÍBV (2-0).
Matthew Tipton‘s move to Linfield has not started as well as he might have hoped. Tipton played as a substitute in the defeat to Ballymena United and started the scoreless draw with Coleraine. He missed the opening 4-0 win over Donegal Celtic as Linfield start with a win, a loss, and a draw to currently sit mid-table.
Celtic began their (inevitable?) defence of the SPL with a nervy 1-1 draw against promoted Ross County. County led for most of the game until Kris Commons scored in the third minute of injury time. Celtic got back to winning ways in their next game; a 4-2 win against Inverness Caledonian Thistle. Adam Matthews played the both games, while Joe Ledley only featured in the season’s opening fixture.
After a wrist injury to first-choice goalkeeper Cameron Bell, Lost Boyo Kyle Letheren has found himself first choice goalkeeper at Kilmarnock in recent matches. All three games have sadly ended in defeat, included a cup upset as the League Cup holders went out to lowly Stenhousemuir in the second round. Wales’s other SPL goalkeepers have not yet seen playing time. Jason Brown has found himself on the bench at Aberdeen, while youngster Calum Antell is now back-up to first-choice Ben Williams at Hibernian after spending last season on loan at East Stirlingshire.
Also at Hibernian, David Stephens played in his side’s 3-0 loss to Dundee United at the start of August. Meanwhile, Owain Tudur-Jones played in two of Inverness Caledonian Thistle’s opening four SPL fixtures- both ending in draws- as well as making an appearance in the 2-0 over Arbroath in the League Cup.
Chainat’s difficult first season in the Thai Premier League continues. Michael Byrne‘s side had won just one of their previous ten league matches coming into August, and had to wait until the month’s final fixture to get back to winning ways. August began with two draws against Esan United and TOT, before heavy losses to Buriram United (7-2) and Bangkok Glass (5-3). Chainat finished off the month with a 2-0 win over Thai Port. Despite their poor run, Chainat look relatively safe in 12th spot and with a five-point cushion over the bottom three.
In Thai Division 1, things have not been going any better for Mika Chunuonsee‘s Bangkok FC. They also managed a single victory in their five August matches. His side sit precariously close to the drop zone, one place and one point above the relegation places.
Vancouver Whitecaps continue to be in the play-off running in Carl Robinson‘s first season as assistant manager. August was disastrous, however, with Vancouver losing all but one of their four MLS games; a 2-1 win versus Real Salt Lake.
Three wins in August saw Gareth Evans and the Wilmington Hammerheads seal a place in the end-of-seaon play-offs. In the play-off quarter-finals, a late Tom Parratt goal sent the Hammerheads into the semi-finals were they face regular season winners Orlando City.
Orlando ended the regular season on a 14-game unbeaten streak. The last team to beat them were, as the football fates would have it, the Wilmington Hammerheads in early June. Orlando’s own Lost Boyo Anthony Pulis has not featured since early July. The play-off semi-final takes place this Saturday (September 1st).