Nick Powell's header secured Stoke a 1-0 win at Wycombe to dampen the return of supporters at Adams Park.
The 1,000 fans spread around the stadium created the sort of atmosphere players have been missing for close to nine months and it was the first time they had ever seen the Chairboys in action in the Sky Bet Championship.
But in what was a tight contest, they were edged out by the Potters, who moved themselves to within a point of the play-off places.
Wycombe came within a whisker of taking the lead after just four minutes when David Wheeler got a flicked header on Jason McCarthy's corner and the ball came back off the post.
It was then Stoke's turn to come close from a set-piece when Sam Clucas' corner was met by a towering header from Danny Batth, but Daryl Horgan was alert enough to clear off the line.
The fans in attendance were then convinced the home side should have had a penalty when Alex Samuel went down under Josef Bursik's challenge, but referee Darren Bond instead booked the attacker for diving.
The Potters began to take control of proceedings, with Sam Vokes sending a header from Morgan Fox's cross wide just short of the half-hour mark.
Bursik was given his first test after 39 minutes when the ball sat up nicely for Horgan, but his strike from just outside the box was straight at the young stopper.
The first half finished goalless and with the home side having forced their way back into the picture, but they were breathing a sigh of relief early in the second half when Powell shot wide when well-placed.
Vokes' radar was also askew when he shot over after Jacob Brown had done well to help Clucas' cross back into his path.
Wycombe began to provide a threat of their own again, with Horgan checking outside before blasting an effort over from a narrow angle.
But the breakthrough finally came for Stoke after 72 minutes when James McClean's lovely cross from the left was met by Powell at the back post and Wycombe centre-back Josh Knight could not stop it on the line.
The Potters almost had a second with seven minutes left when Tyrese Campbell surged into the area before his deflected effort was well saved by Ryan Allsop at his near post.
The Chairboys struggled to produce much of a response in the time that was left, unable to repeat their late heroics against Derby last Saturday, and it was the visitors who came away with three hard-earned points.
What the managers said...
Wycombe's Gareth Ainsworth: "We were just done by one touch of class, there was nothing in it. I think our fans have seen that we can compete at this level - I've been saying it on camera and our fans have been saying 'well, we want to see it.' They've seen it tonight and our fans can compete at this level as well because they were awesome tonight. I'm really proud of the players, but it was just that one moment of quality.
"We've had a couple of shots, we hit the post in the first few minutes and there's some serious decisions the referee has had to make tonight. There was a potential red card on Fred (Onyedinma), there was a handball at the end that could have been a penalty, while Jason McCarthy has been dumped WWF-style and has had to come off injured."
Stoke's Michael O'Neill: "It was positive, really good. We've been playing now for so long in empty stadiums and, at times, it's a little bit soulless, but tonight, even though there was only 1,000 people in the ground, we had a bit of an atmosphere. They were contesting the decisions, obviously, the referee was giving for and against them and, overall, I feel it was a positive that they were back.
"There's been a lot talked about teams that will be permitted fans and teams that won't be permitted fans. I don't really have any strong opinion on that - we're not permitted fans at Stoke, for example - but it was good to see fans here tonight."