A rampant second-half display ensured Dale Eve and his Stoke City Under-18 teammates swept aside League leaders Manchester City 4-1 in their F.A. Premier League Academy match at Clayton Wood Training Ground.
Visitors Manchester City would have been confident of securing the win needed for the Group C title after leading 1-0 at the interval, but a clinical second period from Stoke City, that included excellent strikes from Jordan Richardson, Marcel Barrington and Kris Scott, plus an own goal, meant it was they who took the points.
Stoke can now look forward to their final game of the season against Manchester United with renewed optimism, while the Manchester City must wait for Blackburn Rovers' result against the Manchester United on Wednesday to find out their title fate.
Stoke City coach Dave Kevan named a familiar team for the clash - their first Academy League fixture for nearly a month - but it was Manchester City who were quicker out of the blocks, and Courtney Meppen-Walters went close on four minutes, but his header was turned over by goalkeeper Eve.
Blustery conditions and the close, competitive nature of the match meant that chances were difficult to come by in the opening phase of the game, with Stoke only half threatening the Manchester City goal through long-range efforts from Richardson and Scott.
It took until the 33rd minute for the deadlock to be broken, and it needed something special from visiting forward Jordi Mayifuila to break it - Greg Leigh found the Manchester City No.9 just outside the box, and he unleashed an unstoppable shot into the top right-hand corner, much to the delight of his team-mates.
Stoke had a decent opportunity to equalize three minutes before the break when Adam Thomas blocked Meppen-Walters' clearance and played in Jack Nardiello, but the striker's effort was straight at Angus Gunn, and half-time came with Manchester City a goal in front.
The home team started the second-half with fresh vigor, and got their reward on 59 minutes with the equalizing goal, Michael Clarkson curled in a free-kick from the right-hand side, which Meppen-Walters only succeeded in flicking past his own 'keeper.
Three minutes later and Stoke completed the turnaround when Richardson robbed Meppen-Walters, brought the ball down on his chest and fired home - a goal that left the opposition shell-shocked and suddenly chasing the game.
They failed to gel in the final third, however, and it was the young Potters who looked more likely to add to their lead - a feat they achieved on 77 minutes. Marcel Barrington, only a few moments after coming on as a substitute, hit a rasping shot from just outside the area that left Gunn helpless once more.
Mayifuila fluffed a decent opening a few minutes later as Manchester City rallied; his shot slipped wide of the far post after he was well found by George Glendon.
It was to be Stoke's day though, and the icing on the cake came with four minutes left. Gunn's poor kick went straight to Scott, whose instant 35-yard effort cleared the backtracking ‘keeper and found the net to produce one of the goals of the season.
The visitors' spirit never waned, and Mayifuila should have netted in stoppage-time, but defensive heroics from Ben Heneghan prevented him from doing so - an action that personified a tenacious, organized and high quality performance from Stoke City.