The Rebels made the trip to Essex aiming to put an end to a poor run of form which had seen them winless in their last four outings.
The Clarets were last in action in midweek when they beat Concord Rangers by two goals to one.
Suk-jae Lee made his full debut in a Worthing side that was missing Kane Wills, Lewis White and Joe Rye. Adam Hinshelwood opted for Mo Dabre, Liam Vincent and Dan Bowry in their absence.
It was a lively start at the Melbourne Stadium with the hosts starting strongly. Michael Folivi won the ball back from Danny Barker in the Worthing box in the third minute, but his shot was straight at Harrison Male.
Ben Brookes was the next to threaten with a low effort from outside the box that forced Male to make a diving save low to his left.
Folivi produced the Clarets’ third chance in the opening ten minutes with a great bit of skill to beat Racine to advance into the box. Folivi’s effort never really troubled Male who gathered at his feet as the heavens opened in Essex.
Against the run of play, the Rebels’ first chance produced the opening goal. Dabre did well to win the contest with Liam Trotter in midfield before turning and playing in Vincent on the left. His cross towards Ollie Pearce was inch-perfect and the frontman converted to give the Rebels the lead.
With a boost of confidence following the goal, Worthing threatened twice in five minutes. First, Vincent went close with a low effort towards the back post that went wide before Pearce advanced with the ball in the box, but his effort was stopped by Eddie Beach in the Chelmsford goal.
The next chance came for the hosts in the 36th minute when Tyreke Johnson’s effort was blocked in a crowded penalty area following a corner.
A minute later, the hosts were back on level terms when Ody Alfa stood one up to the back post where Trotter was there to head in the equaliser.
As the contest looked set to be heading into the break level, Vincent and Pearce combined once again to put the Rebels in front just before the interval. It was almost a mirror image of the first goal, with Vincent crossing low into Worthing’s talisman who swept home with his left foot.
At the start of the second period, it was Chelmsford with a counter-attack of their own to get back on level terms once more. Tom Blackwell played to Folivi out wide who cut inside onto his right foot and beat Male at the near post with the finish.
At the other end four minutes later, Dabre found himself through one-on-one following a deep free kick. He’ll feel he should have done better with his effort though, as it was hit straight at Beach who saved.
In a frantic second half, Chelmsford had the next chance and thought they had gone in front when Ade Oluwo headed in, but the assistant referee had his flag up for offside.
Hinshelwood swapped Vincent for Davide Rodari on 56 minutes.
It was hard to work out who cleared Trotter’s effort off the line two minutes later as the Rebels kept out a goalmouth scramble.
Worthing’s second change saw Daniel Thompson replace Suk-Jae Lee in the 67th minute.
Male produced the save of the season with some 20 minutes left in the contest as he tipped over Folivi’s effort with one hand from point-blank range.
The match-winning moment saw Chelmsford awarded a dubious penalty when Freddie Hockey went down under a challenge from James Beresford. Arjanit Krasniqi stepped up and sent Male the wrong way from the spot.
Beresford was replaced by Ibby Akanbi soon after as Worthing searched for an equalising goal.
But, it was the hosts who put the game to bed in the 88th minute when Hockey got on the end of Callum Jones’ cross to fire past Male for four-two.
It’s a defeat that leaves Worthing with an unwanted winless run that stretches to five matches.
They’ll be looking to end that run as they welcome Havant & Waterlooville to The Crucial Environmental Stadium next Saturday on Non-League Day.