CARL Macauley says losing Steve Tames is bad news but admitted Witton could not match an offer made to his leading goal-scorer by Bala Town.

The Welsh Premier League club announced they had signed the front man, on target 32 times for Albion in all competitions last season, on Thursday.

“We were completely blown out of the water,” said the Witton manager.

“When a player can earn what they’re going to pay him, then he can’t knock it back.

“It’s frustrating for us, more so because it’s a lad that has been brilliant for the club since he came here.”

Tames, 26, is the first to depart Wincham Park this summer after helping the team to finish seventh on their return to the Northern Premier League’s top-flight last term.

He was a key figure too during the previous campaign, scoring 17 goals following a transfer from Stalybridge Celtic that helped Albion to finish second in Division One South behind Shaw Lane.

They were promoted after beating Spalding United in a play-offs final.

Macauley said: “He’s spoken as well to another club in our division, but he wouldn’t have left Witton to go there.

“I’ve nothing but praise for the contribution he made, and not unreasonably he asked about the possibility of a raise after the way he performed last season.

“Lads are going to knock on your door and do that.

“We simply couldn’t stretch to that in the end.”

Witton have already announced the extension of deals for Nick Ryan and Will Jones, while Anthony Gardner’s contract doesn’t expire until the end of next season.

Rob Hopley has also agreed terms on a new one-year arrangement.

Macauley told the Guardian that he has spoken already to most of the squad that also delivered a victory in the Mid-Cheshire District FA Senior Cup final earlier this month.

He added: “I’ve not quite got around to everybody, and am waiting for one or two to return calls.

“However I’ve not told anybody they’re surplus to requirements.”

Meanwhile Tames recalled his time at Wincham Park fondly in a message posted on one of his social media accounts.

It read: "I want to say a massive 'thank you' to everyone at the club for your support.
"[Witton are a] fantastic club with even better people and I wish you all the best for the future."