WIMBORNE Town boss Matty Holmes saluted Toby Holmes for his mental strength after the striker had again stepped up to the plate from the penalty spot.

The frontman took to 34 his personal goal tally for the season by bagging a double in their 3-1 win against Southern League West rivals Larkhall Athletic at Plain Ham on Saturday.

His second-half penalty saw Magpies ease into 3-0 lead, his second successive successful conversion from the spot after he had relinquished responsibility following two misses earlier this season.

James Stokoe, suspended for the trip to Bath, had replaced Holmes as Wimborne’s designated penalty-taker, only to see his late spot-kick hit the post during a 1-1 draw at Barnstaple in December.

Holmes’s second-half brace added to Jack Lovell’s early opener as Magpies climbed into eighth place after avenging a 3-1 defeat by the Larks at Cuthbury in September. Joe Tumelty’s 70th-minute penalty for the hosts proved a mere consolation.

Boss Matty Holmes, who saw Luke Holmes have a hand in two of the Wimborne goals, told the Daily Echo: “It was an excellent result and performance.

“The pitch was heavy and not the best but we showed a really professional attitude and thoroughly deserved the three points.

“Toby was brought down in the box for the penalty and I was really pleased to see him step up to take it. He had no hesitation, it was a short run-up and he stuck it away.

“He didn’t think about it too much and just stepped up, like he did last season. He has missed a couple but we told him not to worry about it. We told him to have a position in his mind, put down the ball and off you go.

“If you miss, you miss but he stuck it away. Penalties are always a bit of a lottery because if a goalkeeper guesses correctly, invariably, he will save them.

“Toby had a spell when he didn’t want to take them but he has had the confidence to take our past two. I am happy with that because you want you centre-forward taking penalties and scoring goals. He is back on them at the moment.”

Magpies: Benfield, Penny, Hester, Oldring, Maybury, L Holmes (Cole, 68), Kellaway, Francis, T Holmes, Burbidge (Arnold, 87), Lovell. Unused subs: Davidson, Okumu, Walsh (g/k).