Kelly Smith: Abby Holmes takes legal advice over comments

The tackle that left Smith 'furious'

Sunderland Ladies say defender Abby Holmes is taking legal advice after Arsenal striker Kelly Smith claimed she "intended" to hurt her.

Smith tore three ankle ligaments when tackled by Holmes, 23, during a Women's Super League One match last month.

The 36-year-old described the challengeexternal-link as "malicious" - an allegation the Sunderland player "strongly refutes".

Smith also claimed Holmes, who was sent off for the tackle, was not good enough to play in the top division.

The Football Association has reprimanded Smith for her comments and reminded her of her responsibilities to the game.

Kelly Smith is tackled by Sunderland's Abby Holmes
Smith (right) is tackled by Holmes during Arsenal's 4-1 win at Borehamwood last month

Sunderland said Holmes denied "there was any malicious intent in the challenge or that it was pre-meditated".

The club added it reported Smith to the FA as it believed her remarks breached its regulations and the players' code of conduct.

Smith, regarded as England's best ever player, recently retired from international duty.

After having surgery, the "furious" Arsenal player-coach wrote: "Those type of tackles end careers."

Abby Holmes
Holmes was sent off for her challenge on Smith