They were to fare even worse in a bleak 53-54 season, a sad end to the 18 year service of ace marksman Stannard. His final game for Wimbledon came in a 4-0 defeat at Walthamstow on the last day of the season. Wimbledon, up among the top dogs for so long, were now down among the dead men and applying for reelection.
The writing was on the wall, really, from day one. Stannard's two early strikes had opened a comfortable lead at Ilford. It was an advantage, though, that Wimbledon failed to protect as they crashed 3-2.
Exactly the same thing happened in their FA Cup first qualifying round replay with Kingstonian. This time it was Mickey Stewart who scored the two early goals, with K's then slamming four without reply.
A last minute equaliser cost more points at Corinthian Casuals and although Wimbledon did put together an eight game unbeaten run, Wycombe Wanderers scraped a one goal win against the run of play to put an end to that.
Goalkeeper Alan Hooper was the star of the show at Delphian Leaguers Woodford in the second round of the London Senior. They went for the early kill, but Hooper held firm and a Gauntlett hat-trick, plus others from Currie and Cammell saw Wimbledon comfortably through.
A 3-1 win at St. Albans continued Wimbledon's post war love affair with Clarence Park, taking their points' tally to 14 in eight visits, while two 4-1 victories away from home took them into the second rounds of both Senior cups.
Stannard, out of the first team since October, scored two of the goals in the 4-1 Surrey Senior success at Woking and although he repeated that double against Dulwich the following week, Dons again contrived to turn a 2-1 interval lead into a 4-2 defeat.
The goals dried up completely in a 1-0 Amateur Cup defeat at Sheppey United. But Doc knew what was up, replaced Bull and Woods in the five man frontline with Porter and Cammell and Wimbledon duly romped in 5-1 against Edgeware Town in the London Senior, second round.
Dowden produced another managerial masterstroke, giving John Dinsdale a first team debut against Oxford City. Dinsdale had proved his worth with a run of goals for the reserves and repaid Dowden's faith with a hat-trick in a 5-3 win.
But that really was it for the season. Ilford put them out of the London Senior semifinal 4-0, while Corinthian Casuals won 2-0 in the Surrey Senior competition. Dinsdale went back to the reserves and four of the next five League fixtures finished in defeat, although there was an eight minute hat-trick by young Derek Clarke to savour in the one victory, 3-1 over Kingstonian.
But despite their lowly League placing, Wimbledon did manage to secure some silverware, with a 3-2 South of the Thames Cup Final win over Tooting, with goals from Gauntlett and J. Davies, plus a Les Wallis own goal. So Stannard's career on the park came to a close. He was duly voted vice president at the club's annual meeting in July, where the club announced a £34 purchase of floodlighting equipment had been made.
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