The Clarets were their own worst enemies as they lost 2-1 at Melbourne Park to Truro City on Saturday afternoon in the Vanarama National League South.
Young attacker Hugo Skepelhorn got the hosts off to a great start after just five minutes, following up his own saved shot on five minutes to slot home. It was the Clarets' first league goal in three games.
However, from then on in the first half Chelmsford were sloppy in possession. Truro levelled on 21 minutes with a curling free-kick from Jamie Reid. They then took the lead with Ryan Brett sliding a shot between Clarets goalkeeper Christian Dibble's legs eight minutes later.
Although the hosts improved in the second half and Truro skipper Arran Pugh received a red card with minutes to go, they could not find the leveller their play merited.
Chelmsford were welcoming a team in form in Truro, who despite their 12th-place position in the table have not lost a league match since August during which they started the season poorly.
The Clarets needed to get their form back on track, with just the one win in the league in their last five matches.
The two teams have a close bond, with the Clarets attempting to help fund-raising efforts in 2012 after Truro went into administration. While the visitors from 668 miles away ultimately could not raise enough money to remain in the Football Conference, they have bounced back and the two sides have retained their strong relationship.
Saturday brought Mark Hughes' 100th game for the Clarets since joining two years ago. New signings Michael Thalassitis and Ben Marlow, both former Bishop's Stortford players, came straight into the starting XI, with Luke Daley, Bagasan Graham and Harry Morgan all dropping to the bench after last weekend's defeat at Bath City.
The Clarets started brightly. A great header from Rory McAuley cannoned back off the crossbar from a deep Matt Whichelow free-kick, but the assistant had his flag up for offside.
It took just five minutes for the Clarets to open the scoring. Whichelow knocked a ball through to the galloping Skepelhorn. He sped towards goal and while his first effort was parried by Truro goalkeeper Martin Rice, the youngster buried the rebound with a first time shot.
Whichelow was looking bright in the early stages, curling in a low cross from the right which Thalassitis was inches away from getting his toe to in the box.
McCauley then received a yellow card for a late tackle, giving Reid the chance to curl home a delightful free-kick into the left side of the net.
Chances at both ends came on 27 minutes with Craig Duff's header from Connor Riley-Lowe's cross gathered by Dibble before Skepelhorn's sliced cross bounced off the Truro crossbar.
Two minutes later the visitors took the lead when Cody Cooke broke through the middle and played in Brett, who calmly slotted through the goalkeeper's legs.
The hosts were sloppy in possession and one misplaced pass gave Reid the chance to advance and fire off a shot on the turn which Dibble gathered at the second attempt.
Truro went close again just before the break when Arran Pugh headed down a corner to Cooke, who hooked his effort over the crossbar from eight yards.
City had a great chance to level seven minutes into the second half when Marlow broke down the left and sent in a cross which the arriving Skepelhorn headed inches wide of the left post.
On 64 minutes Whichelow sent a low shot at the goalkeeper when Lee Sawyer was free on the left to be played in.
Clarets boss Mark Hawkes decided he had seen enough. He brought on Graham, Daley and Mark Haines for Aiden Palmer, Rob Girdlestone and Sawyer.
City were definitely much better in the second half and Thalassitis sent a low shot towards the bottom right corner which had Rice scrabbling to save.
However, Truro could have made the game safe on 78 minutes, when Cooke was picked out in acres of space in the box, but took an age to strike the ball and when he did it flew well over from seven yards.
The hosts were given added hope on 86 minutes when Pugh saw red for a second yellow card, having received both for late tackles on Skepelhorn. However, they could not find a leveller against the ten men with Hughes going close from three yards out in the final moments.
CHELMSFORD CITY: Dibble, Girdlestone (Haines 68), Palmer (Daley 69), Hughes, Marvin Ekpiteta, McAuley, Marlow, Sawyer (Graham 69), Thalassitis, Whichelow, Skepelhorn. Subs not used: Morgan, Brown.
TRURO CITY: Rice, Mitchell, Riley-Lowe, Brett (White 88), Richards, Pugh, Knowles, Green, Duff (Afful 82), Reid (Vassell 64), Cooke. Subs not used: Wright, Barrow. Att: 636.
Read more: http://www.essexchronicle.co.uk/8203-Tale-cities-Chelmsford-lose-Truro/story-28132604-detail/story.html#ixzz3qzafTBUj
Read more: http://www.essexchronicle.co.uk/8203-Tale-cities-Chelmsford-lose-Truro/story-28132604-detail/story.html#ixzz3qzaNEQRF