Stoke City 4, Barnsley 0
POTTERS fans breathed a huge sigh of relief after their team at last struck winning form after emerging lockdown.
Less than 24 hours earlier Stoke had been dumped into the relegation zone, in ever-increasing danger of losing their Championship status.
With just one point to show from three outings, the odds looked stacked against a Stoke revival against an in-form Barnsley side.
The visiting Tykes appeared to have found an escape route from their troubles after claiming seven points out of a possible nine on their return.
However, a more determined looking Stoke stunned their visitors from south Yorkshire by racing into a 2-0 lead with only 10 minutes gone.
Sam Vokes opened the scoring in the eighth minute and a reinstated Tyrese Campbell added his team's second just two minutes later.
Campbell found the net again seven minutes before the break and Tom Ince applied the icing to the celebration cake with Stoke's fourth goal in the 87th minute.
This overdue victory lifted Stoke four places up the table to 18th spot, but the battle for Championship is still far from over, with just one point preventing them between them and the drop zone.
Next up for Stoke are league leaders Leeds United away on Thursday (July 6), kick off 5pm.
Today's other Championship results:
Derby County 1, Notts Forest 1; Blackburn Rovers 1, Leeds United 3; Brentford 3, Wigan Athletic 0; Bristol City 0, Cardiff City 1; Fulham 1, Birmingham City 0; Huddersfield Town 0 Preston 0; Luton Town 0, Reading 5.