STEVE Arnold shone for Southend United at King’s Lynn – despite enduring a difficult pre-season.

The 31-year-old shot-stopper impressed between the sticks as Blues kicked off the National League season with a 1-0 win at King’s Lynn.

And Shrimpers boss Phil Brown heaped praise on Arnold after revealing just how difficult the past few weeks had been for the summer signing.

“Our goalkeeper has had 21 days off with Covid and deserves a special word,” said Brown.

“He’s had two spells of it and his wife gave birth this week too.

“He’s got another young child who has had Covid but he put all that on the backburner with that performance today.

“He deserved that clean sheet more than anyone.”

Arnold was only able to play 90 minutes in the Shrimpers warm-up matches but performed well on his competitive debut and saved well from Gold Omotayo late on.