By Scott Hatley
In a nightmare 10 minute period either side of the half time interval, Nicky Eyre put into his own net just before the break before seeing red just after half time for bringing down Matty Whichelow in the area.
Luke Garrard converted the penalty sending Niklas Freund the wrong way before City capitulated gifting the home side with two more goals in the space of three minutes.
Lee Angol scored following a lapse in concentration by Freund who waited too long for the ball to enter his area, and then Christian Smith was adjudged to have handled in the area leaving Garrard to score again from the spot.
It was an afternoon to forget for the Clarets who were up against a side who they conceded 10 goals against in their two league meetings last season and were the league's highest goalscorers as they perched on top of the table.
Following last week’s surprise win against Bromley, City boss Mark Hawkes was forced to make two changes with Rob Girdlestone and Michael Cheek replaced by James Love and Luke Callander respectively.
Flying high at the top of the league, Boreham Wood started the stronger and created the first chance when a free kick from Graeme Montgomery was flicked to the far post with Luke Garrard unable to add the finishing touch.
Whereas Garrard was unable to get enough on his header, Montgomery moments later got too much on his as quarter of an hour in he headed just over the bar from eight yards out after Yado Mambo gave the ball away in a dangerous area.
Chelmsford were finding it hard to breach the Boreham Wood backline, but it was an error from the home defence that let Lee Sawyer in for a sight on goal only for the former Southend United man to blaze his chance over.
In a game of few clear chances the match sparked into life with chances galore after half an hour.
Austin Lipman struck straight at Eyre inside the area from a corner, then up the other end Callander cut inside only for his low strike to be easily saved by James Russell.
Boreham then missed by far the two best chances of the game thus far when a cross from the right was palmed towards the far post by Eyre leaving the goal gaping for Montgomery whose volley missed the unguarded net and went over.
Unperturbed, Boreham continued to push forward and Lee Angol found himself the wrong side of the Chelmsford defence, managing to round Eyre only for his shot to be blocked by Love as City found themselves completely under the cosh.
And after putting City under so much pressure the home side deservedly went in front just before the break. Sam Cox forced Eyre into a diving save to his right after shooting from distance and from the resulting corner City fell asleep allowing Matty Whichelow time to cross.
Eyre came to claim, but under pressure from Christian Smith the City ‘keeper was unable to keep hold of it and couldn’t prevent the ball crossing the line to give the home side the lead going into the break.
In consecutive weeks manager Hawkes has bemoaned his side's poor starts to the second half of games against Bromley and Staines, and for a third straight week it was same again as City made a disastrous start to the second half which saw Eyre sent off and Boreham 2-0 to the good.
Ricky Shakes barrelled forward, finding space for a shot from the edge of the are which Eyre could only parry. Whichelow and Cox were quickest to react and were both brought down by Eyre with the referee awarding a penalty.
Eyre was given a straight red by referee Serrano and Niklas Freund was sent the wrong way by Garrard who doubled the home side's advantage.
Two goals down and a man down it would have been easy for City to shut up shop, but they reacted well and should have halved the deficit when a free kick from Joe Ward was headed wide by an unmarked Mambo.
But it was well and truly over when Boreham were gifted two more goals in the space of three minutes. The first coming from a shocking error of judgement by Freund who waited too long for the ball to come into his area allowing Angol to tip in and slot into an empty net.
Minutes later and Boreham had a second penalty of the game as a cross from the right came off the hand of Smith. Garrard stepped up confidently to go high to Freund's left and Chelmsford's horror run against Boreham Wood continued.
City's day was summed up late on as substitute and debutant Evans Kouassi was through on goal and looped Russell with ease only for his effort to be ruled out by the offside flag.
1. James Russell
2. Ben Nunn
3. Luke Garrard
4. Sam Cox
5. Josh Hill
6. Callum Reynolds (C)
7. Matty Whichelow
8. Ricky Shakes
9. Lee Angol
10. Austin Lipman
11. Graeme Montgomery
12. Mario Nato
14. Greg Morgan
15. Ryan Hope (On for Ben Nunn 81')
16. Matthew Parsons (On for Luke Garrad 75')
17. David Moli (On for Austin Lipman 75')
1. Nicky Eyre
2. James Love
3. Leon Redwood
4. Mark Hughes (C)
5. Mark Haines
6. Yado Mambo
7. Lee Sawyer
8. Christian Smith
9. Luke Callander
10. Joe Ward
11. Nicky Nicolau
12. Rohdell Gordon
14. Harry Morgan (On for Chrisitan Smith 76')
15. Marvin Ekpiteta
16. Evans Kouassi (On for Luke Callander 70')
19. Niklas Freund (On for Nicky Nicolau 51')
Referee: Mr A Serrano
Assistants: Mr S Cheek & Mr C Williams
Boreham Wood: Nicky Eyre O.G. 41’, Luke Garrard (p)52', (p)72', Lee Angol 69'
Chelmsford City: N/A
Boreham Wood: Luke Garrard (26’ – Obstruction), Callum Reynolds (39’ – Foul)
Chelmsford City: Mark Hughes (36’ – Foul), Luke Callander (70' - Foul)
Boreham Wood: N/A
Chelmsford City: Nicky Eyre (50' - Professional Foul)
City Man of the Match: Mark Haines