'Special' night at Easter Road as Hibs and Hearts break attendance record for Scottish domestic game
Dean Gibson hailed a “special” night at Easter Road as his Hibs side won the inaugural Capital Cup over rivals Hearts with a record-breaking 8,066 in attendance.
The Hibs manager did admit he was a little disappointed the crowd didn’t reach five figures with over 13,000 free tickets claimed by supporters prior to kick-off.
However, it remains a significant step forward for the women’s game in Scotland with the final total smashing the previous record for a domestic women’s game, which was set in the same fixture last season as 5,512 watched Hibs win 3-0 in Leith.
“It's special. Both clubs deserve a lot of credit,” said Gibson, whose team won on penalties to claim the trophy after a 1-1 draw in the SWPL 1 match. “It didn't just start this season. It started last season with the game at Easter Road and then the next one at Tynecastle. The two clubs coming together to showcase what women's football is, it's just a huge thing.
“For us to get 8,000 at a Scottish domestic game is just massive. I wanted 10,000. Once we got to the 13,000 ticket sales I was really hopeful of getting there.
“All four stands being open, it felt like a proper football match. I think the fans enjoyed it. To them it felt like a proper game. The two roars when both goals went in were deafening. I didn't enjoy the Hearts roar but I could appreciate the noise. It shows how invested they were in the game and the same again when we go the equaliser.
“People could have just turned up today just to turn up, but I think they came with a real focus on the women's game.”
Hearts assistant boss Sean Burt was also delighted with the turnout and reaction from the supporters, particularly the jubilant scenes in the away end when Emma Brownlie scored the opening goal prior to Crystal Thomas’ late equaliser.
“Fantastic. I said it all week too. If you give women's football the platform, the stadium, then people will come,” said Burt. “You'll get crowds through the gates and I think today proves that. From the point of view of the neutral I thought it was fantastic. You had two teams going at it.”