Our Ladies finished with nine players on the pitch after Hanna Jaadia and Leah Rawle both saw red, with C&K taking full advantage of the former's dismissal by edging themselves in front from the resulting free-kick.
The hosts went into the match in buoyant mood after an opening day win over Queens Park Rangers, but from the off against C&K it was clear they had a battle on their hands.
Four yellow cards were shown in the first 15 minutes of the game – illustrating the physicality of the contest – but Spurs went close to breaking the deadlock mid-way through the half when Avilla Bergin made a great run across the C&K defence and latched onto a through ball, only to shoot straight at goalkeeper Nicola Carty in a one-on-one situation.
The turning point of the game arrived in the opening stages of the second half as a long ball caught our defence out and Jaadia was adjudged to have fouled C&K's forward as the last defender just outside the box, leading to a straight red card and a free-kick for the visitors.
Unfortunately for our Ladies, C&K's Zoe Rushen scored straight from that set piece and from there, with a numerical disadvantage, it was no easy task to get back into the game.
There was a further setback 20 minutes from time as Rawle was dismissed for a second bookable offence, leaving the hosts to complete the game with nine players.
In spite of this, our Ladies still managed to put the visitors under pressure as they looked for an equaliser – and one nearly arrived when Bianca Baptiste found Jenna Schillaci unmarked at the back post after great build-up play from Lucia Leon on the right-hand side, but her shot flew across goal and wide.
"It was disappointing to lose the game in that fashion," said Manager Karen Hills. "I felt the nine players at the end did enough to warrant getting a point as they worked so hard for 20 minutes, but it just didn't happen for us.
"The two girls who were sent off will definitely learn from their mistakes."
Spurs Ladies return to action next Sunday (August 30) with a home match against Lewes in the League Cup. Kick-off at Cheshunt FC (Theobalds Lane) is at 2pm.
Spurs Ladies (v C&K Basildon): Toni-Anne Wayne, Lucia Leon, Jenna Schillaci, Hanna Jaadia, Leah Rawle, Shannon Maloney (Amy Cooper 75), Wendy Martin, Maya Vio (Rhiana Soobadoo 60), Avilla Bergin (Jenny Moore 80), Bianca Baptiste, Katie O'Leary. Substitute (not used): Chloe Morgan.