Hearts star wants to see interest in women's football sustained after record-breaking crowd watches derby with Hibs

Hearts midfielder Cailin Michie insists the two Edinburgh clubs cannot rest on their laurels as they look to continue growing women’s football in the wake of a record-breaking attendance at Sunday’s Edinburgh derby.

8,033 fans moved through the turnstiles at Easter Road as Crystal Thomas’ late equaliser ensured a point apiece in the SWPL 1 after Emma Brownlie had headed the visitors into a second-half lead.

Hibs then won 5-3 on penalty kicks to become the first victors of the Capital Cup, a competition between the two sides created with the hope of generating further interest in the women’s game.

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The attendance in Leith smashed the previous mark for a women’s domestic game in Scotland, which previously sat at 5,512. The game was heavily marketed by both clubs with no men’s fixtures for several weeks due to the cinch Premiership shut down, and Michie wants to see this momentum sustained.

Hearts' Cailin Michie runs past Hibs' Shannon McGregor during the SWPL1 match between the Edinburgh rivals at Easter Road on Sunday. Picture: Malcolm Mackenzie

"I hope we can improve the crowd, especially when we bring it back to Tynecastle later this season,” she said. “What's really important for the women's game, especially with these big games, like derby matches and getting the men's stadium, is can we generate the interest for the rest of the games as well? Especially at the moment as there's not much men's domestic football due to the World Cup.

“Can we see whether we can generate a few more big crowds before Christmas and the last few games as well? We want to finish at the Christmas break nicely in fourth place, but can we grow the whole game week in, week out, whether it's a derby or not?”

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