IPSWICH, ENGLAND - Friday, February 3, 2023: Liverpool's goalkeeper Luke Hewitson during the pre-match warm-up before the FA Youth Cup 5th Round match between Ipswich Town FC Under-18's and Liverpool FC Under-18's at Portman Road. (Pic by Stephen Pond/Propaganda)

Liverpool goalkeeper’s 97th-minute save makes instant impact on loan

Days after a surprise loan move to Stalybridge Celtic, Liverpool goalkeeper Luke Hewitson made a result-clinching impact – with a 97th-minute save.

After missing the opening games of the season for Liverpool’s academy sides, Hewitson was confirmed to have made a short-term move to Stalybridge Celtic.

The 18-year-old will spend the first half of the campaign with the non-league outfit, based 50 miles away in Greater Manchester, before returning to Merseyside in January.

A day after his switch was completed, Hewitson debuted in a 3-2 defeat to Runcorn Linnets in the preliminary round of the FA Cup.

Tuesday brought his league bow, in a trip to Clitheroe, with Celtic looking to keep up their unbeaten start to the season in the eighth tier.

Jordan Burton’s goal in the 18th minute set the visitors on course for victory, but they were required to hold on as Clitheroe fought back – and it was Hewitson who made a vital intervention late on.

Into the seventh minute of stoppage time, Clitheroe winger Veron Parny fired an effort on goal at the near post, only for Hewitson to pull off a save described as “exceptional” in the club’s match report.

“I’m stood on the side, I’ve got subs running past me when he’s making that, cheering it,” manager James Kinsley enthused after the game.

“That’s what we want, we want that togetherness. It’s important that we maintain that.”

Hewitson, who joined Liverpool from Sunderland two years ago, had not gained any senior experience prior to his move to Stalybridge.

KIRKBY, ENGLAND - Saturday, September 3, 2022: Liverpool's goalkeeper Luke Hewitson during the Under-18 Premier League Cup match between Liverpool FC Under-18's and Tottenham Hotspur FC Under-18's at the Liverpool Academy. (Pic by Jessica Hornby/Propaganda)

But while it could be considered an odd move, from the academy of an elite side to No. 1 at non-league level, the teenager is clearly embracing the opportunity.

“Luke’s come here on loan, it’d be very easy for him to just go through the motions a bit,” Kinsley continued.

“He’s come here, he’s put his body on the line. He’s punching things, he’s catching things, his kicking was great.

“He’s helped us a lot back there.”

A bright start for the youngster, then, who follows the likes of Rhys Williams and Marcelo Pitaluga in showing up after a loan move to non-league.