MATTY Holmes described as "phenomenal" the impact striker Toby Holmes had in his time at Wimborne Town as he leaves the Cuthbury club for Salisbury.

Prolific marksman Holmes scored 132 goals in 143 games for Magpies, including netting 30 in their first season in Southern League South.

Wimborne presented him their best possible offer, however, boss Holmes admitted they could not match the finances on offer at Raymond McEnhill Stadium – and insisted other factors played a part in the star's decision.

In 2016, Matty Holmes made the 26-year-old his first signing when he took the helm at Magpies and the former Parley Sports talent led the line in a series of memorable campaigns.

Discussing Toby Holmes's departure, manager Holmes told the Daily Echo: "What he has done for the football club since joining is phenomenal.

"He helped us finish in three history-making seasons as a football club.

"We wish him well. There are no sour grapes about it.

"We just couldn't financially match what he has been offered and also the football side of it – it is not just a money thing, he is keen to progress his football and try to go up with Salisbury, which we fully respect.

"We are battling, we are trying and we have moved along very quickly for what we are, so I think he feels it is time to go financially and football wise."

He added: "I remember watching him at Dorchester. When I went down there a couple of times to watch him play he was a sub and kicking the ball at half-time.

"He was dual registered with Parley at the time and for some reason I accepted the job at Wimborne and he was my first my port of call because I knew the lad could score goals."

Wimborne last weekend strengthened their attacking options with the signing of Tony Lee from Gosport Borough.

"When you lose your top scorer from the past three seasons it is difficult but Tony Lee coming in gives another lad an opportunity," said Matty Holmes.

"Tony is a different player. We all know Toby likes to run in behind and his hold-up play was getting better as we worked on it with him but Tony gives us a little different string to our bow. We can play a couple of different ways, possibly.

"We liked the through balls to Toby but now we can mix it up a little bit.

"If we can get one more striker up there, then brilliant.

"It is sad to see him go. He had a contract offer, which for us was as much as we could do but we just can't match what Salisbury put on the table for him."

In 2017-18, Toby Holmes smashed through the 50-goal barrier and, at the time, his new boss Steve Claridge compared him to Conference strikers.

Quizzed on the frontman's development while at KoolPak Stadium, Matty Holmes said: "He is a genuine lad and he is thankful for what we have done.

"We have worked hard with him on the training pitch.

"He is obviously a natural goalscorer but to get in those positions we have worked really hard as coaches with him and now he is bearing fruits.

"He has got us into the position we are in.

"I wish him well at Salisbury as long as he doesn't score against us but apart from that we want him to do so well because we had a real good hand in developing him."