(CNN) -- Unheralded Stoke look set to be playing in the Prremier League next season after a 1-0 home win over Blackburn Rovers which leaves Sam Allardyce's men still deep in relegation trouble.
Lawrence's winner at the Britannia Stadium lifted Stoke out of the relegation battle.
Promoted Stoke, one of the favorites to return to the second-flight of English football at the start of the season, grabbed three precious points thanks to Liam Lawrence's 75th minute goal at the Britannia Stadium.
It left Tony Pulis's team eight points clear of the relegation zone with five games to play with Blackburn just one place and three points above the bottom three.
Sunderland gained much-needed relief with a 1-0 home win over fellow strugglers Hull City as Djibril Cisse headed home his 10th goal of the season on the stroke of half time.
They leapfrog Blackburn and Hull into 15th place on 35 points, four clear of 18th placed Middlesbrough who were held 0-0 at home by Fulham.
"We had to win," Sunderland manager Ricky Sbragia told Press Association.
"I didn't care how we played. It was important we didn't lose today and we got the goal at the right time."
Portsmouth also reached safety with a 1-0 win over Bolton, with Nwankwo Kanu scoring the only goal of the game.
Wolves will replace one of the relegation strugglers in the Premier League next season after clinching promotion with a 1-0 win over QPR.
Sylvan Ewank-Blake scored the winner as Wolves returned to the elite of English football for the first time in five years.
Meanwhile in other Premier League action, Aston Villa wasted the chance to consolidate fifth spot after being held 1-1 by West Ham, who are challenging for a Europa Cup spot.
Diego Tristan grabbed an 85th-minute equalizer to earn the Hammers a point at Villa Park after the home side had led through an 11th minute opener by Emile Heskey, who was returning after injury.