Having won all of the four of their pre-season games thus far the visit of League Two side Colchester United posed the biggest test to date for Rod Stringer's new look Chelmsford City side.
In hot and muggy conditions the Clarets spent a lot of the first half chasing possession with Colchester creating an early chance through Macauley Bonne, who's close range shot was held by Joe Welch.
City had to settle for just half chances in the early exchanges before the visitors took the lead in the 19th minute. After the U's took a quick free kick down the right, the low cross into the area found Bonne with acres of room, allowing him to turn and fire the ball into the roof of the net.
Colchester's opening goal was quickly followed by Chelmsford's best passage of play of the first half when the ball was well worked out to the left hand side. Robbie Willmott raced to the by-line before cutting the ball back across goal to the feet of Billy Bricknell, but he failed to beat James Bransgrove.
In the second half the Clarets came out of the blocks quickly forcing a succession of corners only for some goal-line heroics from the Colchester defence to keep the Clarets out not once but twice. It was a case of third time lucky however as another corner was cleared only as far as Luke Daley who smashed the ball into the net on the volley to level.
That was until Sammie Szmodics got his first of the afternoon, gliding through the Chelmsford defence before nestling the ball in the bottom corner. And with nine minutes of normal time remaining the visitors made the win safe when Szmodics got the wrong side of the Clarets back-line, rounding the goalkeeper and placing the ball into the empty net to make it 3-1.
Szmodics completed his hat-trick five minutes later when Chris Bush made two failed attempts to head a high ball clear, allowing the 20-year-old Colchester striker to caress the ball up and over the trialist goalkeeper and in off the underside of the bar.