Buchanan put the Clarets ahead after just five minutes as he directed Robbie Willmott’s cross past Harry Voss at the near post. Aaron Greene levelled for the Blues two minutes later, however, with the midfielder’s long-range strike stunning Ross Fitzsimons.
The visitors’ advantage was restored on 21 minutes as Buchanan’s sliding effort at the far post tapped in Shaun Jeffers’ dragged shot, before the City front-man sealed a perfect hat-trick by firing home from the spot after Zach Fagan handled.
Clarets boss Rod Stringer made just one change to the team that won the reverse fixture by replacing the injured Max Cornhill with Anthony Church.
The home side looked to take revenge for their 4-0 drumming in Chelmsford a week ago but were susceptible to the worst possible start when Buchanan scored on five minutes. Clarets striker Shaun Jeffers sprayed the ball out wide to Willmott who controlled explicably before firing across goal to Buchanan who calmly headed home.
The ever-present rain turned the pitch into a mud slide and led to the home side’s equaliser. Chris Bush was tracking former Claret Aaron Greene when he lost his footing in the wet conditions and the midfielder curled his shot past Ross Fitzsimons from 25-yards.
As the game ticked on the hosts became more susceptible on the break, and they showed why they are the League’s basement side when the visitors restored their lead on 21 minutes.
Jeffers controlled excellently on the edge of the box whilst under pressure. The former Yeovil front-man was unable to beat Voss with his dragged shot but Buchanan’s sliding challenge at the far post deflected the ball in.
City almost furthered their lead but a fine save from Voss denied Kane Haysman his first goal for the Clarets.
But Haysman’s missed effort was not the last chance for the visitors when they won a penalty seven minutes before the interval.
Willmott’s driving run on the right threatened Stortford once again, however this time the former Football League winger’s cross was blocked by Fagan’s hand, allowing Buchanan to step up and grab a hat-trick upon return to his former employers.
Evans Kouassi almost pulled a goal back for the hosts in first-half added time, but the young striker’s shot flew wide.
The Clarets continued their search for a fourth goal to wrap up the points but Anthony Church’s and Jeffers’ shots were saved comfortably.
The League’s basement side proved why they were bottom of the league as a number of defensive fatalities almost allowed the Clarets to score – with wasteful shooting the only thing denying City a larger lead.
Another excellent cross from Willmott midway through the second half caused absolute havoc in the Stortford box, leading to a goal-line scramble, but neither Ashley Miller nor Jeffers could get a conclusive touch.
A poor back-pass from the visitors allowed Shomari Barnwell to race through on 81 minutes, but he was unable to resurrect a late comeback as he blazed his effort over.
The Clarets held on to secure the three points and, more importantly, propel themselves back into the play-off spaces ahead of the visit of Whitehawk on Saturday 7th January.
Bishop’s Stortford: Voss, Rodgers (C), Richens, Hickford, Adebowale, Lazzari, Kouassi (74’, off for Morgan), Fagan, Barnwell, Moncur (74’, off for Cundle), Greene (80’, off for Herd). Unused Substitutes: Wiltshire, Ngassa.
Chelmsford City: Fitzsimons, Miller, Young, Rees (89’, off for Porter), Bush, Haines, Willmott, Church (C), Jeffers, Buchanan (75’, off for Graham), Haysman (84’, off for Spillane). Unused Substitutes: Reid, Daley
Bishop’s Stortford: Freddy Moncur (40’), Evans Kouassi (51’), Michael Richens (57’), Emmanuel Adebowale (58’).
Chelmsford City: Anthony Church (56’), Michael Spillane (90’).
Bishop’s Stortford: Aaron Green (7’).
Chelmsford City: Elliott Buchanan (5’, 21’, 38’pen)
Half Time: Bishop’s Stortford 1-3 Chelmsford City
Full Time: Bishop’s Stortford 1-3 Chelmsford City
Man of the Match: Elliott Buchanan