Goals from Tom Richards and Tyler Harvey gave the Cornish side an early lead before Rhys Murphy was controversially given his marching order for an alleged elbow on Jamie Richards.
The Clarets started the first half the brighter of the two sides as Scott Fenwick and Michael Spillane both tested Harvey Rivers’ reactions with half chances.
However, a defensive error allowed the visitors to take the lead within seven minutes. Nathan McDonald failed to collect a cross from the right-wing, allowing the ball to fall to Richards who poked beyond the flustered City ‘keeper.
City failed to return to create any further chances after going behind and the deficit was soon two goals after fourteen minutes. Kiran Khinda-John misjudged a long ball forward, culminating in the large defender fouling Tyler Harvey in the area. The White Tigers’ striker calmly stroked the ball home as he sent McDonald the wrong way from the penalty spot.
Things were made even worse for City inside the opening half-hour as any chance of a comeback were scuttered. Murphy rose to contest a header with Richards and, after the latter fell theatrically to the floor clutching his head, the Chelmsford striker was shown a straight red despite video replays showing a lack of any violent conduct.
Following Murphy’s dismissal, the Clarets were forced to play with Scott Fenwick as a sole striker and it almost led to a goal as the striker linked up well with Chez Isaac. McDonald claimed a Truro corner well, dispatching the ball out to the Geordie striker. Fenwick charged down the pitch before sliding the ball to his midfield teammate, but Isaac’s effort was blocked well.
But the visitors could have extended their lead even further, Truro attacked down the left wing and Tom Wraight was forced to slide a low cross out for a corner as a difficult first half came to a close.
Rod Stringer’s half-time talk with his players clearly had an impact as they came out charged and ready for the second half.
Lewis Leigh-Gilchrist shot well over the bar for Truro in the first moment of action in the half, before Fenwick slipped as he pulled the trigger on an attempt on goal, dragging his effort narrowly wide.
City should have been awarded a penalty on the hour-mark as defender Michael Spillane was upended inside the box, but the referee waved away Chelmsford’s loud appeals.
The introduction of substitute Jonny Giles with 27 minutes remaining provided City with a creative element but it was too little too late as the focus towards damage limitation.
Giles came close to reducing the deficit with an acrobatic effort from Spillane’s header down, but the winger’s effort was always rising over the bar.
Chelmsford came close again as Giles’ produced a dangerous corner with ten minutes remaining, but none of his team-mates could provide the important touch as it bounced in the Truro six-yard box.
A goalkeeping error from Rivers handed the hosts another corner and the Clarets were denied another penalty, with Spillane being impeded once again.
Tempers eventually boiled over with five minutes as a late tackle on Spillane led to a fracas on the half-way line, but Spillane and a Truro defender escaped with just cautions.
Giles came close to grabbing an added time consolation goal for the Clarets, forcing a strong diving save from Rivers, but it was too little too later as Chelmsford lost at home in the League for the first time since September 29.