Clarets boss Rod Stringer was forced into making a change moments before kick-off as traffic on the A12 meant that striker Chris Dickson was unable to take his place in the starting XI, with Philip Roberts taking the front-man’s spot.
A brace from Jake Kirby as well as goals from Richie Sutton and an own-goal from Mark Haines sealed the victory for the Vanarama National League side, with Elliott Buchanan’s volley proving just a consolation strike for the Clarets.
Robbie Willmott carved an early chance for City after just four minutes but his in-swinging cross was gathered by Scott Davies quickly.
The scoreline was eventually broken however when a mistake from Chris Bush allowed Kirby to dart forward before rounding Fitzsimons and tapping into an open goal on thirty-minutes.
The Rovers quickly doubled their advantage when Mark Haines headed Steve Jennings’ cross past his own ‘keeper four minutes later.
The hosts were restricted to numerous efforts from range, with their attacks failing to apply any pressure on a resolute visiting defence.
Tranmere thought they had scored a third just before the interval but Bagasan Graham was on-hand for City to head off the line.
Micky Mellon’s team did not have to wait long for a third, however, as Sutton sent a looping header in from Adam Buxton’s free-kick to seal the tie two minutes before the break.
The Clarets had a glimpse of hope when substitute Buchanan rifled a volley beyond Davies from close-range on the hour-mark.
City almost grabbed a second when Haines had his effort denied by Davies’ legs before Buchanan saw the ball roll away from him as he attempted a follow-up shot. And the Clarets were left to rue their miss as Kirby latched onto a perfectly weighted pass as he made a run from the half-way line to round Fitzsimons again and get his second goal of the evening.
Anthony Church’s wayward header on 75 minutes almost scored a second for the hosts, but his effort flew inches wide of the upright.
1. Ross Fitzsimons
2. Ashley Miller (86’, off for Matt Young).
3. Bagasan Graham
4. Max Porter (46’, off for Daniel Blanchett).
5. Chris Bush
6. Mark Haines
7. Robbie Willmott
8. Anthony Church ©
9. Shaun Jeffers
10. Philip Roberts (58’, off for Elliott Buchanan).
11. Josh Rees
12. Elliott Buchanan
14. Matt Young
15. Luke Daley
16. Chris Dickson
18. Daniel Blanchett
1. Scott Davies
20. Lois Maynard
19. Andy Mangan
8. Jay Harris
22. Adam Buxton
12. Ritchie Sutton
17. Jake Kirby
4. Steve Jennings ©
23. Cole Stockton
2. Lee Vaughan
6. Michael Ihiekwe
13. Iain Turner
7. Adam Mekki
21. Adam Dawson
31. Eddie Clarke
32. Tom Coughan
Yellow Cards: [b]
Chelmsford City: Philip Roberts (18’), Ashley Miller (21’), Josh Rees (90+3’).
[b] Goalscorers: [b]
Tranmere Rovers: Jake Kirby (30’, 70’), Mark Haines OG (34’), Ritchie Sutton (43’).
Chelmsford City: Elliott Buchanan (62’).
[b] Attendance: 923.
City Man of the Match: Ashley Miller.