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).
|Warriors star Curry sets NBA record|
|Raonic survives four-hour marathon against Wawrinka|
|Osaka powers through to Aus Open third round|
|Irving dominates in Celtics´ win over Raptors|
|Irving called LeBron this week to apologise|
|Ajax star De Jong wants to resolve future ´quickly´|
|Payton on Rams CB Peters: I have great respect for him|
|Rockets star Harden matches Chamberlain with historic performances|
|Nishikori survives Karlovic test in Melbourne|
|Vieira reunion felt really weird - Henry|
|´#BetAgainstUs´ - Edelman and Pats embracing underdog status|
|Van der Vaart: Isco the best player in the world|
|I haven´t seen Guardiola or Klopp do that – Lampard unhappy with Bielsa|
|Real Madrid always play to win, insists Casemiro|
|Royals pitcher Skoglund suspended for 80 games after testing positive for PEDs|
|Ronaldo and Juve celebrate Supercoppa Italiana title with Mayweather|
|We are not going to talk about Morata - Simeone reluctant to discuss striker|
|Madrid weak in Leganes loss, says Solari|
|Bologna and Banvit seal Champions League play-off spots|
|LeBron James to miss Thunder & Rockets games but nearing practice return|
|Leganes 1 Real Madrid 0 (1-3 agg): Isco starts as Solari´s side go through despite defeat|
|NFL playoffs 2019: X-factor for each NFC team|
|Mahomes: Chiefs must not repeat mistakes against Patriots|
|Higuain´s Supercoppa benching due to virus, says Milan boss Gattuso|
|Brown fires back at Arians over ´diva´ comments|
|Stone heading home from West Indies tour with back injury|
|Shazier will continue rehab with intention of playing again|
|That´s why we signed him! Allegri hails Supercoppa match-winner Ronaldo|
|Monaco on worst home run in club´s history after Nice draw|
|Atletico Madrid 3 Girona 3 (4-4 agg): Simeone´s side out on away goals|
|Gregg Williams is Jets´ new defensive coordinator|
|Ronaldo: Supercoppa triumph just the start for Juve|
|Monaco confirm Batshuayi talks|
|You know more than me! Bielsa´s Barcelona research surprised Guardiola|
|Juventus 1 AC Milan 0: Ronaldo heads Bianconeri to Supercoppa glory|
|Kane injury cannot be excuse for Tottenham – Pochettino|
|Woods to open 2019 schedule at Torrey Pines|
|Reported Liverpool target Dabbur to undergo Sevilla medical|
|Lebanon v North Korea: Radulovic calls on players to make history|
|MLS MVP Martinez signs five-year contract with Atlanta|
|WBC set deadline for Wilder-Fury rematch|
|Iran 0 Iraq 0: Team Melli top Group D after dull draw|
|Vietnam 2 Yemen 0: Quang Hai shines to give Golden Dragons hope|
|Bielsa admits to spying on all Leeds´ opponents|
|Valverde open to arrivals amid De Jong tug-of-war|
|Sexton named in Ireland squad for Six Nations openers|
|Higuain benched for Supercoppa Italiana amid Chelsea links|
|De Grandhomme, Latham and Santner back in Black Caps squad|
|Oman v Turkmenistan: Verbeek tells players to ´score as many as possible´|
|Japan v Uzbekistan: Cuper not distracted by potential last-16 opponents|
|Brown desperate for England recall|
|Lowry ties course record in Abu Dhabi|
|James is playing for Bayern future – Kovac|
|Wizards can compete for playoffs in LeBron-less East despite injuries - Brooks|
|Kyrgyzstan 3 Philippines 1: Lux hat-trick gives White Falcons third-place hope|
|South Korea 2 China 0: Son sets the standard as Bento´s men take top spot|
|Saudi Arabia v Qatar: Top spot on the line in Group E|
|Wasps pull off Fekitoa coup|
|Fresh injury woe for Real Madrid defender Vallejo|
|Home sweet home for Wozniacki as Stephens conquers Melbourne demons|
|Nadal: Victory over Ebden a step forward|
|Proteas rest Steyn and De Kock for opening ODIs|
|Nadal and Federer march on as rising stars prosper|
|Barcelona president Bartomeu convinced Valverde will stay|
|Inter forward Keita suffers thigh injury|
|Nadal races into third round with easy Ebden win|
|Kimmich ´perfect´ for Barcelona, says Xavi|
|Richardson and Nabi inspire Renegades´ rout of Sixers|
|This Liverpool isn´t a team of chokers – Mane|
|Central Coast Mariners 2 Melbourne City 1: Late Simon winner ends 10-match losing streak|