NATHAN Bishop was the star of the show as Southend United started 2019 with a 2-0 win against Gillingham at Roots Hall.

The 19-year-old goalkeeper, who was making just the fourth League start of his career, pulled off a string of fine saves.

And Blues boss Chris Powell was full of praise for the custodian who has risen through the club’s youth ranks.

“Nathan had an outstanding day and he’s shown everyone his mentality,” said Powell.

“Since I’ve been at the club I’ve been amazed by his mentality, the way he trains and how he does his work.

“We’ve always felt that there was a project there we wanted to help grow but it was just about getting him games.

“I felt he wasn’t ready earlier on in the season and I didn’t want it to be a tough baptism for him so I brought in David Stockdale.

“But since then he’s quietly shown me he’s going to be ready and I had no doubts this time.

“He’s always had my full trust and I really hope he carries on in the same vein, even though it will give me a problem once Mark Oxley is fit again.

“He can be very proud of himself. “