GRAHAM Dorrans ended almost 30 years of hurt on Stoke soil with a dramatic stoppage-time winner.
Scotland international James Morrison appeared to have set the Baggies on their way to their first victory in the Potteries since September 1982 with his third of the season in the 36th minute - courtesy of a Thomas Sorensen error.
The former Middlesbrough man fully deserved his goal as he went on to hit the woodwork either side of the break.
Ben Foster, who started his career at Stoke, kept the Baggies' lead intact by saving Jonathan Walters' 72nd-minute penalty after Gareth McAuley had been wrongly penalised for a 'foul' on the same player.
Stoke sub Cameron Jerome, however, looked to have stolen City a point with a leveller four minutes from time.
But Dorrans had the final say with a 91st-minute free-kick which crept through a crowded City penalty area before nestling in the far-bottom corner.
This fully-deserved victory - only Albion's second in 29 league meetings with Stoke - was the club's fifth on the road this term and was lapped up by the vociferous away support, who travelled to Stoke in big numbers.
Eighth entertained 15th, separated by eight points, at a windswept Britannia Stadium.
Hodgson made four changes for the short trip up the M6, with fit-again Jonas Olsson coming back in to skipper the team.
Marc-Antoine Fortune, making his first league start of the term, Gabriel Tamas and Dorrans also earned recalls, with Peter Odemwingie, Craig Dawson and Gonzalo Jara Reyes dropping to the bench. Paul Scharner missed out with an Achilles injury.
Tony Pulis made one change - Ryan Shotton replacing Wilson Palacios in midfield.
The blustery conditions made life incredibly difficult for both teams - but it was Albion who almost took the lead in the fifth minute.
Jerome Thomas raced onto a sublime diagonal ball from Dorrans and, after shrugging off Jonathan Woodgate inside the Stoke box, saw a low shot blocked by Sorensen's legs at the near post.
Despite kicking into the wind, Albion had started confidently and they comfortably dealt with City's first aerial forays into their box, from a trademark Rory Delap long throw-in and a Matthew Etherington corner.
And the visitors created another good chance on 14. Nicky Shorey darted at the Stoke defence before playing in Fortune whose low cross was dummied by Dorrans, only for Simon Cox to miscue wide from 15 yards.
Dorrans had a go himself three minutes later but dragged an ambitious 30-yard drive well wide of the left-hand post.
Foster was having the quietest of games as the half passed its midpoint, but Stoke finally threatened his goal when the wind played havoc with a high clearance, fooling both Olsson and Gareth McAuley to put Walters in the clear. However, McAuley raced back to block Walters' shot from just inside the box with a wonderful last-ditch challenge.
But Albion went much closer on 26. Morrison robbed Delap and let fly with a stunning 25-yard drive which Sorensen, at full stretch, tipped onto the bar. The ball also hit the inside of the post before bouncing to safety.
A Delap throw-in created a half chance for City on 30, but Robert Huth headed harmlessly wide of the right-hand post.
However, an Albion goal had been coming - and it duly arrived in the 36th minute. The lively Morrison seized possession just inside the Stoke half before seeing his fierce 25-yard drive spilled into his own net by Sorensen. The moment certainly marred the Danish keeper's 400th career league appearance.
Morrison had a real taste for the spectacular but he was less accurate with a long-range volley after Stoke had only half-cleared a Thomas centre.
The disgruntled response of the home fans to the half-time whistle underlined Albion's supremacy. Fortune had worked tirelessly up front and his efforts were not lost on the Baggies fans, who sang his name loudly as he headed down the tunnel.
Stoke recorded the first shot of the second half but Walters failed to trouble Foster's goal with a miscued 25-yarder.
But Albion almost made it 2-0 on 50.
Thomas sent Dorrans racing clear down the left and from his pull-back, Fortune saw his goalbound effort from eight yards blocked brilliantly by Huth.
Just a minute later, there was more Albion agony when Morrison smashed the left-hand upright with a stunning 20-yard volley.
Peter Crouch was having a quiet afternoon and he was well off target with a shot from the edge of the Albion box on the hour-mark.
Two minutes later, Shotton went a little closer with a first-time 20-yarder which fizzed a couple of yards wide.
But Albion really should have been 2-0 up on 63.
The wind got right behind Foster's clearance and converted it into a through-ball for Cox, but the Ireland striker, with only Sorensen to beat, failed to get enough purchase on this shot, allowing the City No.29 to gather easily.
Back came Stoke and sub Jermaine Pennant's right-wing cross created City's best chance to date, but Walters failed to hit the target with a six-yard header.
City had a lifeline on 72. McAuley clearly beat former Ipswich team-mate Walters to Glenn Whelan's throughball in the box but after the City striker went to ground, referee Anthony Taylor pointed to the spot!
However, justice was done when Foster dived to his right to brilliantly keep out Walters' penalty.
Morrison was having an incredible game and almost grabbed his second in the 77th minute with a 15-yard snapshot that flew inches wide.
All of Albion's hard work appeared to have been undone four minutes from time when sub Jerome headed home Pennant's free-kick.
But the Baggies refused to wilt and, in fact, it was they, and not Stoke, who pushed for a winner.
Dorrans had the final say in the first minute of stoppage time when his angled 25-yard free-kick flew through a sea of legs in a crowded Stoke box and inside the far corner of the net.
STOKE (4-4-2): Sorensen; Woodgate (Pennant 52), Shawcross, Huth, Wilson; Shotton (Jerome 79), Whelan, Delap (Wilkinson 88), Etherington; Walters, Crouch. Subs not used: Begovic (gk), Jones, Fuller, Whitehead.
ALBION (4-5-1): Foster; Tamas, McAuley, Olsson, Shorey; Cox (Tchoyi 87), Morrison, Mulumbu, Dorrans, Thomas (Dawson 90+2); Fortune (Long 83). Subs not used: Fulop (gk), Odemwingie, Jara Reyes, Mattock.
GOALS: STOKE - Jerome (86). ALBION - Morrison (36), Dorrans (90+1).
REFEREE: A Taylor (Manchester).
ALBION STARMAN: James Morrison.