Andy Carroll's 90th-minute equaliser edged Stoke City closer to Premier League relegation, cancelling out Peter Crouch's strike and earning West Ham a 1-1 home draw on Monday.
Crouch had been on the pitch nine minutes when he pounced to turn in the rebound after England goalkeeper Joe Hart spilled a shot from Xherdan Shaqiri.
But another substitute would yet have a decisive impact on the result, Carroll superbly turning in a cross from Aaron Cresswell to ensure the spoils were shared at London Stadium.
A run of four straight losses had seen Stoke's position appear increasingly perilous, the Potters in danger of slipping out of the Premier League after a 10-year top-flight stay.
Crouch had appeared to claim the role of hero with a goal that made him Stoke's record Premier League marksman, but Paul Lambert's men are on the brink after Carroll's leveller.
Stoke remain 19th in the table, five points adrift of safety with four matches remaining, one of which is against Champions League semi-finalists Liverpool at Anfield, while West Ham - who saw three goals ruled out - are seven clear of the drop zone.
WHAT. A. GOAL. pic.twitter.com/qW9ZwVpqKq— West Ham United (@WestHamUtd) April 16, 2018
Ramadan Sobhi and Moritz Bauer had early efforts saved easily by Hart as Stoke showed plenty of attacking ambition in the opening exchanges.
Marko Arnautovic was being booed by the visiting fans and the former Stoke man should have tested Jack Butland after being fed by Joao Mario, instead dragging his 32nd-minute strike wide.
Sobhi was proving Stoke's primary creative threat and he sent Mame Biram Diouf clear with a cute first-time pass around Declan Rice, but the Senegal striker fired straight at Hart.
With the tempo rising, Arnautovic hit the target with a powerful near-post drive only to find Butland in the way, the England goalkeeper in perfect position to block the effort with his face.
Arnautovic thought he had opened the scoring in the 55th minute when he glanced in Cresswell's cross, but the offside flag cut short his celebrations, replays showing the decision was marginally correct.
Diouf then missed Stoke's clearest chance, turning a Bauer pullback over the crossbar with a first-time strike that wasted a dangerous break.
Michael Oliver was refereeing a game for the first time since his controversial penalty award at the end of the Champions League quarter-final between Real Madrid and Juventus, a decision which led to abuse being directed towards his family on social media.
And the English official had to disallow another West Ham goal, Arnautovic in an offside position as he obstructed the view of Butland when the goalkeeper was beaten by Edimilson Fernandes' drive.
West Ham were building pressure on the Stoke goal and Butland parried away a Cresswell free-kick to protect his clean sheet, Lambert turning to Crouch in search of a key goal.
The former England international quickly came up with a massive moment for his side, showing attacking instinct to ram home the loose ball after Hart somehow let Shaqiri's strike slip out of his grasp.
44 - Peter Crouch has scored 44 goals for Stoke City in the Premier League, more than any other player (Jonathan Walters next on 43). Robot.— OptaJoe (@OptaJoe) April 16, 2018
West Ham's attacking pressure eventually told, though, Carroll showing poise and balance to volley a Cresswell cross beyond the reach of Butland to earn his side a point.
Oliver disallowed a third West Ham goal in added time, another substitute close to scoring a decisive strike, but Javier Hernandez's effort was ruled out for handball by Carroll in the build-up.
Key Opta stats:
- On home soil, West Ham have lost just one of their last seven top-flight games (W3 D3), after losing three of the six before that (W1 D2).
- Stoke are without a win on their last 19 Premier League visits to London, drawing seven and losing 12.
- This clash produced 36 fouls, a joint-high tally in the Premier League game this season (level with Chelsea v Manchester United on November 5).
- Peter Crouch is now on 16 sub goals in the Premier League (level with Javier Hernandez); only four players have more (Defoe 24, Giroud 19, Kanu 17 and Solskjaer 17).
- Andy Carroll has scored three goals in his last three Premier League appearances, spanning January (two games, two goals) and April (one game, one goal).
|BREAKING NEWS: Hansen to leave All Blacks after World Cup|
|Rapid Vienna 1 Rangers 0: Late Ljubicic winner sends Gerrard´s men out|
|Beckham continues to miss Giants practice with quad injury|
|Vidi 2 Chelsea 2: Giroud spares Sarri´s side in lacklustre draw|
|Paris Saint-Germain and Marseille fixtures among latest Ligue 1 cancellations|
|Santos turn to ex-Argentina boss Sampaoli|
|Muller could miss Champions League last 16 after Tagliafico kick|
|Home hope Bekker out in front at Alfred Dunhill Championship|
|Van Bommel in touch with Robben over PSV reunion|
|Pinarello chief confident over Team Sky future|
|Stade make Ospreys tickets free in tribute to teenager|
|WRC great Loeb seals Hyundai switch|
|Madrid rumours better than sack talk, says Pochettino|
|Nadal to join Federer at 2019 Laver Cup|
|Prigoda smashes world record, Hosszu dethroned in Hangzhou|
|Former Juve CEO Marotta takes over at Inter|
|Glenn to stand down as FA boss next year|
|Muller apologises to Tagliafico for kick to the head|
|Pereira pleads for more Manchester United chances|
|Griffin hails ´phenomenal´ Lowry after Warriors demolition|
|I´ve played with Zidane and Henry, but Messi is something else – Pires|
|Dragons forward Jack de Belin charged with sexual assault|
|Durant: Raptors are the real deal|
|Cocu bids farewell to Fenerbahce after ´mutual agreement´ is made over October sacking|
|Australia unchanged for historic Perth Test|
|Champions League draw: The possible last-16 ties|
|Southee happy to be back on home soil|
|I wouldn´t swap Dembele for Neymar – Pires|
|Canelo ready to risk heavy weather against Fielding|
|Raptors upstage Warriors, Davis leads Pelicans with 44 points|
|India skipper Kohli excited by green Perth wicket|
|PSG? I haven´t decided my future yet – De Jong|
|Marcelo: Real Madrid don´t have attitude problem|
|India pair Ashwin, Rohit ruled out of second Test|
|Kovac: Ajax-Bayern draw was amazing|
|Sims re-signs with Dragons until 2022|
|Derrius Guice injury update: Redskins RB (knee) has rehab setback, undergoes 3 more procedures|
|Emery: Arsenal could sign defender in January|
|Phillies sign McCutchen to three-year deal|
|O´Neal thinks his Lakers teams could ´easily´ beat Warriors|
|A-League to add two clubs by 2020|
|Curry says he was ´obviously joking´ about moon landing comments|
|Now the beautiful part starts – Ronaldo ready for Champions League knockout stage|
|Bayern have a lot more potential – Lewandowski not satisfied despite top spot|
|Lyon star Fekir shares plaudits for Champions League progression|
|Mourinho not surprised by United´s defeat to Valencia|
|Motivation no issue for Benfica, claims Vitoria|
|Lewandowski finishes Champions League group stage as top scorer|
|Mourinho: We scored two goals and lost 2-1!|
|England have a diamond - Guardiola hails City´s Foden|
|Sterling´s carefree display invites us to love football more than others hate|
|Juventus achieved their objective, despite everything going wrong – Allegri|
|Never say never - Schmidt not ruling out All Blacks role|
|Bologna´s winning start ended in BCL|
|Di Francesco critical of Roma performance|
|Shakhtar Donetsk 1 Lyon 1: Fekir fires French side through in Group F|
|Benfica 1 AEK Athens 0: Grimaldo sends hosts out on a high|
|Young Boys 2 Juventus 1: Hoarau double seals famous victory|
|Manchester City 2 Hoffenheim 1: City through as group winners after Sane brace|
|Ajax 3 Bayern Munich 3: Kovac´s men clinch top spot in Amsterdam thriller|
|Valencia 2 Manchester United 1: Jones scores own goal as Red Devils limp through|
|Solari accepts responsibility for Madrid´s heaviest home defeat in Europe|
|WATCH: Rooney backs Rocky ahead of Canelo showdown|
|McLaren to collaborate with Team Bahrain Merida|
|Las Vegas to host 2020 NFL Draft|
|Stade teenager tragically dies after neck injury|
|Cahill may need to leave Chelsea if he wants to play, admits Sarri|
|Viktoria Plzen 2 Roma 1: Chory winner takes hosts into Europa League|
|Real Madrid 0 CSKA Moscow 3: Champions humiliated at Bernabeu|
|Sarri condemns ´disgusting´ Sterling abuse|