Could this be the end for the Linnets?

Paddy Davitt King's Lynn FC will today be wound up in the High Court. Linnets' chairman Ken Bobbins travelled to London last night to attend the hearing but his last-ditch bid to earn a reprieve is set to fail.

Paddy Davitt

King's Lynn FC will today be wound up in the High Court.

Linnets' chairman Ken Bobbins travelled to London last night to attend the hearing but his last-ditch bid to earn a reprieve is set to fail.

The EDP understands the Unibond Premier Division club's hierarchy has been unable to secure the funding to settle a �65,000 tax bill after former finance director David Handley was granted a six-week extension last month.

Registrar Derrett is expected to rubber stamp a winding-up order in Court 54 of Companies Court at The Strand - signalling the end of Norfolk's biggest non-league outfit after a 130 year history.

Lynn's board opted not to put the debt-ridden club into administration and neither Bobbins nor majority shareholder Michael Chinn attended Lynn's potential final hurrah last night which ended in a 2-1 Unibond League Challenge Cup defeat to Retford.

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Player/boss Carl Heggs watched from the stands in what is likely to be his swansong unless Lynn can launch an 11th hour rescue package. Heggs had already indicated he would not take charge of any re-formed side which will begin life at the very earliest next season two levels lower in the football pyramid.

Should Bobbins' High Court appeal fail and King's Lynn Football Club (1994) Limited is officially wound up today Lynn's playing results this season will be expunged from the records.

Lynn's second string is also poised to drop out of the Ridgeons Premier Division mid-season as the full ramifications of the club's sad demise become apparent over the next few days.

A funereal atmosphere smothered The Walks before kick-off with the hardy few supporters in attendance watching history unfold for all the wrong reasons.

The bitterest irony of all perhaps came in the fact this game attracted a far bigger crowd than would have ventured out on a miserable winter night for a meaningless cup competition.

Danny Spencer's cool first half penalty had nudged a youthful Lynn ahead but Colin Marrison levelled from the spot before clinching the win again from the penalty spot in the 90th minute after Stephen Harvey handled Chris Bettney's deep cross.

Heggs' assistant Adam Sinclair was left in charge of a side that featured only Spencer and Jordan Smith from the club's recognised first team pool.

A stronger Retford outfit predictably dictated possession in the early stages but Lynn's untried back line were well marshalled by Ally McAnally.

Lee Holmes skied over at the back stick from Lee Thompson's probing centre in the best chance of the first 15 minutes.

Former Boston midfielder Paul Ellender clipped over the bar from close range after Lynn failed to clear their lines.

Lynn youngster George Wilson exchanged passes with Morreira on the edge of the Retford box but Ross Turner was out sharply to gather.

Morreira squared to Leon Fisher but the midfielder miskicked with Turner to beat as the unfamiliar hosts looked to push Retford back.

Spencer rifled a free kick at Turner on 30 minutes before Darryl Rose's curler smashed Turner's bar.

Lee Thompson clearly tugged back Morreira just prior to the interval to gift Lynn a golden chance from the spot - Spencer sending Turner the wrong way.

Bettney hit the home wall on the restart with Retford trying to up the ante then McAnally parried Neil Harvey's piledriver.

Bettney's free kick flew into the Tennyson Road terracing as Lynn's young line up began to come under pressure around the hour mark.

Marrison drew Retford level from the spot on 70 minutes after Harvey tumbled in a back post collision with Spencer and Matthew Gilchrist.

Thompson's ricocheted strike deflected wide with Retford now in the ascendancy for the final quarter.

Marrison clinched victory a minute from time when Stephen Harvey handled Bettney's deep cross. Lynn's 463-strong crowd applauded the home side off at the finish after a brave effort as thoughts inevitably turned to today's day of destiny in the High Court.

King's Lynn: McAnally, Harvey, Spencer, Smith, Gilchrist, Murray, Rose, Fisher (Webb 81), Walsh, Morreira (Penty 45), Wilson. Subs not used: McCarthy, Gay. Goal: Spencer (40)

Retford: Turner, F Smith, Thompson, Ford (Ludlam 81), Ellis, Ellender, Bettney, Barwick (M Smith 68), Thomas, Marrison, Holmes (Harvey 60). Subs (not used): Knapper, Kingston. Goals: Marrison (70, 90)

Attendance: 463

Referee: N Hair (Peterborough).