There was no European hangover for the Hammers as they finally felled Forest in this eventful East End encounter at London Stadium.

After failing to win any of their three Sunday matches following their UEFA Europa League games this season, at long last West Ham secured a valuable victory that sent them climbing into the top half of the Premier League table and ninth place, ahead of the upcoming international break.

Certainly, David Moyes men could not have got off to a better start when Lucas Paquetá took advantage of some nightmarish Nottingham Forest passing to net his fifth goal of the season inside the opening three minutes.

But the visitors clawed their way back into the contest as Taiwo Awoniyi equalised on the stroke of half-time before Anthony Elanga put Forest ahead midway through the second period.

An instant reply from in-form Jarrod Bowen, however, brought West Ham level before recalled Tomáš Souček produced a dramatic match-winning header with just two minutes remaining.

Cup victories over Arsenal and Olympiacos had papered over the cracks of a hat-trick of Premier League defeats at the hands of Aston Villa (4-1), Everton (1-0) and Brentford (3-2) and kicking-off in 13th spot – two places and one point above Forest – the Hammers made a trio of changes from the side that had beaten the 47-time Greek champions in the UEFA Europa League on Thursday.

Following the 1-0 win that kept his side at the top of Group A with two to play, Moyes saw Alphonse Areola taking the gloves from Łukasz Fabiański, who joined Konstantinos Mavropanos and Saïd Benrahma on the bench while Souček and skipper Kurt Zouma also returned to the starting line-up.

Paquetá’s strike had given the Hammers a late victory on the European stage and now back on domestic duty at Stratford, the Hammers record £50million signing from Olympique Lyonnais wasted no time in carrying on from where he had left off three days earlier.

Indeed, when the red-faced Nicolás Domińguez’s attempted crossfield ball merely ricocheted off the backside of Ibrahim Sangaré with three minutes on the clock, Paquetá gleefully intercepted the loose ball and advanced a few paces forward before drilling a low 20-yarder beyond the outstretched left glove of the sprawling Odysseas Vlachodimos.

But for Areola, Forest might had recovered from their comic, calamitous start as the flying French keeper acrobatically beat away Awoniyi’s point-blank header, then with Forest still pressing for a quick reply, Mohammed Kudus set Paquetá free once more, but Vlachodimos was able to save the final shot.

In charge of Forest for his 50th top-flight game, Steve Cooper had named an unchanged team following last Sunday’s victory over Aston Villa, a result that meant his side arrived in the capital with just one defeat from their last five Premier League matches.

Despite having pressed the self-destruct button so early on, the visitors still looked threatening on the break and, midway through the first half, Vladimír Coufal collected his first booking of the season for hauling down the escaping Elanga.

Although Edson Álvarez attempted a rare shot on goal - his 25-yarder drifting harmlessly wide – West Ham had lost all their early initiative and, on 44 minutes, they paid the price when Kudus was robbed by Sangaré on the halfway line.

The Ivorian midfielder duly sent Morgan Gibbs-White racing behind Emerson and, although Areola got down to parry the Forest skipper’s shot, the grounded keeper was powerless to prevent the hungry Awoniyi from feasting upon the rebound to claim a fourth goal of the season, which sent the teams in all square at the break.

With Danilo replacing Domínguez for the restart, the second half started equally as lively as those opening few minutes of the first period as Vlachodimos bravely dived into the studs of Bowen before Awoniyi and Emerson both sent low shots inches wide of the bases of their respective right-hand uprights.

When Moussa Niakhaté was booked for barging into Emerson on the left flank, man-of-the match and chief architect James Ward-Prowse curled the consequent free-kick just an inch or so over the Forest crossbar and, on the hour, the stretching Kudus was also cautioned for a lunge into Harry Toffolo, having lost possession.

On 63 minutes, Elanga became the next name to go into the book but he could not have cared less given his caution was for removing his shirt in celebration of putting Cooper’s crew ahead.

Collecting midway inside his own half, Sangaré sent Ola Aina racing away down the right flank and ghosting in front of Coufal, Elanga slid his side into the lead from 10 yards with his second goal since arriving at the City Ground from Manchester United in the summer.

But that Forest lead did not last long as, within just two minutes, the Hammers had equalised after Ward-Prowse expertly delivered a trademark corner towards the near post, where Bowen rose in front of Awoniyi to head Moyes’ men level.

That was the England international's 11th goal involvement – nine strikes plus two assists – in his last 13 starts for the club.

And having just restored parity, only the woodwork denied West Ham a third goal when Aina inadvertently nodded down into the path of the stretching Souček, who deposited a 12-yard volley onto the crossbar much to the relief of the visiting defence and the disappointment of everyone in Claret and Blue.

A quarter of an hour remained when Cooper opted for a triple substitution, introducing Chris Wood, Sèrge Aurier and Willy Boly, while in the opposite dug-out Moyes responded by sending on Michail Antonio for Álvarez.

Already denied by the woodwork, Souček was then thwarted by Vlachodimos who tipped over the midfielder’s diving header after Ward-Prowse had sent another enticing free-kick towards the penalty spot.

But on 88 minutes, it would prove third time lucky for the 62-cap Czech Republic international, who bundled Nayef Aguerd out of the way to head home Ward-Prowse’s corner into a congested Forest penalty area.

In a frantic finale that saw the home supporters screaming for the final whistle, 90th-minute substitute Divock Origi forced Areola to tip his stinging late effort into the Stratford sky, but in the end, Souček’s match-winning sixth goal of the season proved sufficient to send wobbling West Ham into the international break with those three precious points.

WEST HAM UNITED: Areola, Coufal, Emerson, Zouma, Aguerd, Álvarez (Antonio 79), Souček, Ward-Prowse, Paquetá (Cresswell 90+8), Kudus (Ogbonna 90+4), Bowen. Unused subs: Fabiański, Fornals, Mavropanos, Ings, Benrahma, Kehrer.

NOTTINGHAM FOREST: Vlachodimos, Aina (Aurier 75), Toffolo, Niakhaté, Murillo (Boly 75), Mangala, Sangaré (Origi 89), Domínguez (Danilo 46), Gibbs-White, Elanga, Awoniyi (Wood 75). Unused subs: Turner, Williams, Kouyaté, Yates.

Booked: Coufal (21), Niakhaté (54), Kudus (59) Elanga (63).

Referee: Michael Salisbury.