Peter Crouch brought up his century of league goals here on Monday as his double saw Stoke beat Blackburn Rovers 2-1 and bring the hosts back down to earth after their fine win over Manchester United at the weekend.
Crouch - who has fallen out of favour with England coach Fabio Capello - struck in the 17th and 45th minutes to take his tally to 101 league goals and kept Stoke eighth in the table.
Scottish striker David Goodwillie did reduce the deficit but Rovers could not grab a share of the points and remain second from bottom three points adrift of safety.
They could go bottom if Bolton beat Everton on Wednesday.
Rovers had started the brightest of the two sides - boosted by a draw at Liverpool and then the 3-2 win over United at Old Trafford on Saturday - with wantaway Congolese international defender Chris Samba hitting the bar and then having a goal ruled out.
Stoke made them pay for that as Crouch did well to tuck away Dean Whitehead's perceptive pass over the Rovers defence and the former Portsmouth and Spurs striker added a second when he converted Matt Etherington's cross on the stroke of half-time.
Rovers fought back in the second-half with former Dundee United star Goodwillie halving the deficit and then the hosts went close to levelling but Jonathan Woodgate did well to block leading scorer Ayegbeni Yakubu's goalbound shot.