STEVENAGE have had it tough in the opening couple of weeks.

They are yet to score in three attempts in League Two and are suffering from a growing injury crisis.

Saturday’s goalless draw at Leyton Orient at least earned them a first point – but came at a heavy cost as they lost centre halves Terence Vancooten and Scott Cuthbert before half-time.

They were both forced off after colliding with each other as they tried to block a home shot.

Boss Dino Maamria, while frustrated to add two more key players to a lengthy list of absentees, thought the incident summed up the fight he wants with his team.

“I motivate the players to put their bodies on the line,” he said.

“That is the spirit we have got, that is what we are about and that is why we got the clean sheet.

“Injuries happen in football, we will galvanise ourselves and move on.

“We have got a lot of new players on the pitch and things will get better 100 per cent.

“The work ethic, commitment of the players, self-confidence and belief is all there to see.”

Stevenage were incensed to be denied a first-half penalty after the referee pointed to the spot – and then changed his mind after the intervention of an assistant.

Maamria admitted: “It's been difficult. Some teams would crumble and not many would come back as strong as us.”

Teenagers Luiz Fernandez and Kelland Watts finished in the centre of the Stevenage defence and Maamria will ask for more of the same to repel Clayton Donaldson and James Vaughan.

“It was a proper Stevenage performance. You saw backs to the wall and it was an unbelievable performance from those two.”

One familiar face is likely to feature for the home side as Paul Taylor faces his former club.

The 31-year-old joined the club two days before the start of the season. He had been released by Doncaster in January.

Taylor left City 16 months ago by mutual consent for personal, non-football reasons. He scored six goals in 33 appearances during his season at Valley Parade.