The nine-match unbeaten run was ended by Swansea City on a night of red cards at the Liberty Stadium.
First half goals from Daniel James and Mike van der Hoorn and a late strike from Oli McBurnie consigned Nathan Jones’ men to defeat on in South Wales.
James McClean gave the Potters a lifeline as he bagged his third goal of the campaign on the stroke of half-time but their hopes of salvaging a point were dashed by the dismissals of Bruno Martins Indi and Tom Edwards inside seven second half minutes.
It was, however, a night to remember for teenage central defender Nathan Collins who made his league debut as a second half substitute.
Boss Jones made three changes to his starting line-up with ex-Swans stars Ashley Williams and Sam Clucas replacing injured duo Ryan Shawcross and Tom Ince and Sam Vokes preferred to Bojan.
Swansea, looking for a third successive home win, were quicker out of the blocks but Nathan Dyer squandered an early opportunity when he fired straight at Jack Butland from a promising position after a swift counter-attack by James.
Butland had to be at his best to keep out McBurnie’s shot after Peter Etebo had conceded possession, while stand-in skipper Danny Batth went close to unwittingly deflecting a McBurnie cross into his own net.
The home side’s celebrations were only on ice until the 21st minute when James showed why he’s regarded as one of the hottest young properties in the Championship. The precocious 21-year-old winger cut in from the left before curling a shot beyond the reach of Butland from the edge of the visitors’ penalty area.
The Potters had an immediate chance to hit back as McClean fired in a low cross from the left but Welsh international Vokes was unable to direct his side-footed effort on target.
Dyer drilled a shot wide of Butland’s goal from a tight angle as the Swans went in search of a second goal, whilst McBurnie also went close as he fired over from close range in the closing stages of the first half.
Their second arrived five minutes before the break and it came courtesy of their skipper van der Hoorn, who added the final touch after the Potters had only partially cleared a free-kick and Dyer drilled a cross into the six-yard box.
McClean reduced the deficit on the stroke of half-time as he found the back of the net with a vicious low drive from fully 25 yards out that deceived the home goalkeeper Kristoffer Nordfeldt.
However, the Potters task was made that much harder when they were reduced to 10 men with the dismissal of Martins Indi.
Referee James Linington had no hesitation in brandishing a straight red after the Dutchman had brought down James as he bore down on goal.
Swansea then had appeals for a penalty waved away when Dyer went down in a tangle of legs with McClean but moments later the Potters found themselves down to nine when Edwards was shown a second yellow.
McBurnie wasted a golden opportunity to put the game to bed just after the hour mark as he somehow volleyed over from an unmarked position little more than four yards out.
Jones handed a debut to Collins as he introduced him to action as a substitute for Benik Afobe with 25 minutes remaining and the 17-year-old responded a calm and composed display.
Swansea had the last laugh, however, as McBurnie made sure of the points – and atoned for his earlier miss – with a close range finish four minutes from time.
A long and disappointing journey for the Stoke fans