BRAINTREE TOWN have suffered an early season blow after Matt Paine was ruled out for at least six weeks with a knee injury.

The versatile former Colchester United youngster is likely to be sidelined until October after suffering the injury during the Iron’s 1-0 defeat at Macclesfield Town, last weekend.

Braintree boss Alan Devonshire said: “Matt could be out for quite a while."

Paine may not be the only Braintree player forced to sit out their Vanarama Conference clash with Dover Athletic at the Amlin Stadium tonight (kick-off 7.45pm).

New signing Remy Clerima is a doubt with a thigh injury, while striker Sean Marks is struggling to shrug off a back injury.

New boy Charlie Strutton is unlikely to be fully fit to return until next month, after breaking his leg playing for Aldershot Town, last season.