That South Stand was to be restored to its pre-war glory during the close season, so when the 50-51 campaign opened, Wimbledon's ground capacity was set at the 25,000 mark.
Oxford City were first visitors of a new season and Wimbledon and Stannard, responded in style. Stannard had already proved he had lost none of his old appetite for goal. He scored two for the Probables pre-season, then switched sides and duly added another for the Possibles! He and Jimmie Smith scored twice against City, with Harry Bull bagging another in a 5-0 opener. The Reserves matched that away at Oxford, Charlie Smith scoring a hat-trick in a 6-1 victory.
Wimbledon were showing good early season form and they got a quick chance for some silverware to go with it. They had progressed to the final of the London Charity Cup the previous season and were scheduled to meet Dulwich Hamlet. It was decided to hold the game over, so on September 11 the Dons and Dulwich did battle at Stamford Bridge. Gauntlett and Bull got their eye in with early goals and although S. Gray pulled one back, Wimbledon took the trophy.
Stannard was to score six in a 9-3 FA Cup win over Guildford Pinks, only for Walton & Hersham to end their progress there, with a shock 2-0 win at Plough Lane.
But Wimbledon were going well on the Isthmian front again, with Gauntlett grabbing three against Ilford and good wins against Oxford City, Kingstonian and Tufnell Park hoisting them to second place.
Wimbledon's visit to Dulwich on December 9 was covered live by the BBC Television cameras. But three defeats in their previous four outings had seen them slip to fourth place and there was no respite at Champion Hill, either, in a 3-1 defeat.
In the next four months Wimbledon were to play only two Isthmian matches as their Cup fortunes prospered. They progressed through three rounds of the London Senior before Hendon knocked them out in the fourth, in front of a 4,200 gate at Claremont Road. Victories over Sheppey United and Woking in a replay took Wimbledon into a third round Amateur Cup derby with Tooting which was to take four matches and seven hours of football before the sides were separated. Bob Parker gave Tooting a 2-0 lead in the first game, before Stannard and Gaundett forced replay one. Again Tooting were to open a two goal gap before Wimbledon got their game together, with Lister this time joining Gaundett on the score sheet.
The attendance for these games were averaging out around the 10,000 mark and the punters were getting value for money. Another 1-1 draw followed at Tooting before Wimbledon finally produced the killer touch, with Gaundett, Stannard and Jimmie Smith forcing the win in shocking conditions, but again only after Tooting had drawn first blood.
All that effort, though, came to nothing in the next round against Hendon. A Gauntlett leveler forced the replay, but Hendon held the upper hand for a 2-0 win. Saddened by the sudden death of club chairman Jack Brown, Wimbledon's Easter Tour of the Channel Islands was a more subdued affair, although they did return with the Victory Cup. That, though, was their lot. Despite five wins two draws in their final 10 League matches, they had to be content with fourth place in the table.
Grim news as well on the financial front. A deferred tax liability of £800 left them£281 in the red and they decided to up the annual subs to 30 shillings and raise the price of admission from nine pence to one shilling.
This page has been visited 869 times.
The contents of this site are (c) their respective owners. If you wish to use anything within, please check their status first.
If you have any information, photographs, comments, additions, memorabilia or corrections to this site please contact us