THE HISTORY OF WIMBLEDON FOOTBALL CLUB
1949
Saturday, 10 September 1949
Isthmian League
Plough Lane
 
Wimbledon
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3 - 2
Ilford
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Stannard’s call-up appeared to come at an unfortunate time, with backup Charlie Smith injured and reserve team forward George Iles away on holiday, but the selection committee made the brave, and unexpected move of pushing Arthur Maggs to centre-forward, where he had played while in the R.A.F., with Billy Cousins promoted from the reserves to right-back.

Wimbledon had already comfortably beaten Ilford a fortnight previously, and it was expected they would complete an early first double of the season. Freddie Gauntlett should have opened the scoring when he left the defence appealing for offside, but shot wide with only Cox to beat, then the same player forced the keeper to turn a shot wide for a corner. The breakthrough came in the fifteenth minute, makeshift forward Maggs positioned himself nicely to receive a centre from Gauntlett and headed the ball over the advancing keeper. Relentless pressure brought further reward when Gaunlett found himself on the end of a cross from Jim Smith to notch the second.

Two minutes after the interval and the Dons went three up, Maggs trapped a through ball from Doug Munday and despite slipping smartly pushed the ball through for Jack Wallis to run on to and place the ball out of Cox’s reach. The keeper made further smart saves from Maggs and Wallis and Wimbledon wasted several further good chances due to over-eagerness in front of goal, not least Gauntlett who shot wildly when a tap-in either side of Cox would have borne fruit, but with a three goal advantage it shouldn’t have mattered. However, with fifteen minutes to go Ilford started a fight-back that could easily have secured them the points. First Bryant slipped through the defence to reduce the arrears, and then the referee gave a penalty when Ron Head left his foot in when taking the ball off Chalmers, which Goodyear converted. As time ran out Ilford rose to the occasion and staged a grand finale, lobbing the ball into the area at every opportunity and forcing some wild kicking from the Dons’ defence. Jack Haydock was kept busy and there were several narrow escapes from the onslaught, but luck was with the home side and they held on for the win.