The Hammers secured a rare away win to move level on points with Saturday's opposition and into 12th place thanks to late first-half strike from the substitute midfielder
West Ham recorded their first away win since November with a hard fought 1-0 victory over Stoke, inflicting only the second home defeat on the Potters this season.
Substitute Jack Collison notched the winner with his second goal of the campaign deep into first-half injury time, whe midfielder drilling a low shot past Asmir Begovic after excellent work from fellow substitute Ricardo Vaz Te.
Both teams were forced into changes following defeats in their last outings; Stoke brought Michael Kightly, Cameron Jerome and Andy Wilkinson in for Geoff Cameron, the injured Matthew Etherington and the suspended Robert Huth.
West Ham’s only change was Matt Taylor coming in for Kevin Nolan who broke his toe against Tottenham, however two enforced substitutions inside the opening ten minutes hampered the Hammers’ start as the hosts dominated the opening exchanges.
Once the visitors had weathered the pressure, they created the best chances of the half but could only produce some timid finishing with James Collins directing a free header over Asmir Begovic’s crossbar in the 25th minute and, moments later, Collison could only fire straight at the goalkeeper from an unmarked position on the edge of the penalty area.
The Hammers should have had a penalty 10 minutes later as Ryan Shotton’s lazy tackle ended a surging run for Mohamed Diame inside the area but referee John Moss was not interested in giving what appeared to be a clear foul on the midfielder.
Andy Carroll, with only three goals this season, then missed the best chance of the half as he got in front of his marker to meet a right-wing cross but he headed miles wide with a mistimed header.
With the half all but over the Hammers took the lead through Collison after an excellent run from Vaz Te, the forward played a neat reverse pass to the midfielder and he calmly fired beyond Begovic from 12 yards.
The game turned into a scrappier affair after the break, with chances few and far between.
Begovic was called into action first as Vaz Te rolled a perfect pass in behind the Stoke defence for Matt Jarvis. The winger set himself and fired a strong effort towards the right-hand corner but the Bosnian got his feet to clear the danger.
Minutes later the hosts had a fabulous chance but saw it wasted by Peter Crouch. Jerome raced away down the right-hand side and, although his cross was deflected it, ran right into Crouch’s path, but his effort from the edge of the area was saved well by Jussi Jaaskelainen.
Stoke piled the pressure on for the remainder of the half but, even though Charlie Adam, Kenwyne Jones and Brek Shea were all introduced they could not break down a resolute and well-organised Hammers defence - with Adam was denied by the crossbar at the death.