Coventry’s play-off charge was abruptly halted as Stoke claimed a thumping 4-0 victory at the CBS Arena.
Tyrese Campbell and Ki-Jana Hoever both scored one and created another for the Potters while Jacob Brown and Will Smallbone were also on the scoresheet.
The Sky Blues were unbeaten in nine outings in the Sky Bet Championship but found themselves behind after just six minutes to Brown’s strike before Campbell doubled the lead before half-time.
On-loan Southampton midfielder Smallbone added a third and Hoever made it four with 13 minutes remaining.
Stoke came into the game as mid-table as could be, sitting 12 points from the play-off places in 13th, with the same gap to the relegation zone.
But Alex Neil’s men were also on a run of four without defeat and got off to the perfect start through Brown.
A fantastic advantage by referee Samuel Barrott allowed Stoke to shift the ball out to the left, where Campbell fired a wicked cross into the six-yard box for Brown to stab home his sixth Championship goal of the season.
Stoke piled on the pressure throughout the first half as Callum Doyle spectacularly cleared Ben Wilmot’s header off the line from Smallbone’s corner, who himself was denied brilliantly by Ben Wilson after Campbell’s cut-back.
Campbell had an earlier chance to double the lead himself when he was left unmarked to take aim at goal following Nick Powell’s knock-down, who returned after almost two months out injured.
But just as pressure was turning into frustration, Campbell doubled Stoke’s lead.
The 23-year-old broke the offside trap before latching onto Hoever’s forward pass and while Coventry were looking over to the assistant for a flag, Campbell steadied himself before slotting past Wilson.
It was a sloppy, disjointed first half from Mark Robins’ Coventry as they mustered just one shot on target to Stoke’s six before making three changes at the break to try and reduce the arrears.
The Sky Blues were much brighter in the second half as top scorer Viktor Gyokeres’ half-volley was clawed away by the sprawling Jack Bonham.
It was the Stoke stopper’s first meaningful contribution but he had to be on hand to smother Matt Godden’s effort as well as thwarting Gyokeres once again after Joshua Wilson-Esbrand’s deflected shot fell kindly for the Sweden international.
But as Coventry pressed, the game was put to bed by Smallbone after 71 minutes. Josh Laurent laid the ball back to the on-loan Southampton man, who slotted into the corner.
Things went from bad to worse for Coventry six minutes later as marauding full-back Hoever swept home Ben Pearson’s cross to cap a memorable away victory for Neil’s side.