The Hammers sorry start to the year continued at the City Ground, where David Moyes men endured an agonising afternoon of toil and trouble.

After being so heavily outgunned by Arsenal last weekend, 10-men West Ham United found themselves felled by Forest as their winless run was extended to eight matches, leaving the Scot under immense pressure to get his side back on track. And quickly!

Taiwo Awoniyi gave Forest a deserved lead in the closing seconds of the first half with his sixth goal of the season and, after Kalvin Phillips was sent off for receiving two quickfire yellow cards midway through the second period, Callum Hudson-Odoi cemented victory in the dying moments of the contest.

Without a single victory during 2024, the Hammers kicked off in eighth spot – eight places and 15 points above Forest – desperately looking to regroup following last Sunday’s half-dozen goal caning at the hands of Arsenal.

Having seen the Gunners dish out six of the best to his well-beaten side, Moyes made two changes as he welcomed back striker Michail Antonio, who made his first appearance for the Hammers since early November, when, ironically, he arrived as a late-substitute in West Ham’s 3-2 win over Forest at London Stadium.

On-loan Phillips was also recalled as Tomáš Souček and Ben Johnson dropped to the bench, allowing wide-boy Jarrod Bowen to start in his more familiar right-sided berth as Antonio took the lone-striker’s role.

After enduring back-breaking work picking the ball out of the net six days earlier, Alphonse Areola soon found himself grafting hard at the coal-face once more, brilliantly thwarting Anthony Elanga with an outstretched leg after the Forest striker strolled onto Nuno Tavares inviting cut-back.

Mohammed Kudus also found himself embroiled in the early action, having an angled, far-post shot blocked, before collecting a yellow card for tugging back Neco Williams ahead of then seeing Morgan Gibbs-White join him in referee Thomas Bramall’s notebook for dragging down the galloping Ghanaian.

Despite progressing to the FA Cup fifth round, Forest had also come into this encounter without a Premier League victory during 2024 and, having lost 3-2 against Newcastle United last Saturday, Nuno Espírito Santo made a couple of changes, too, as Felipe and Danilo replaced Moussa Niakhaté and Ryan Yates, who joined former Hammer Cheikhou Kouyaté on the bench.

On the quarter-hour mark, Areola comfortably gathered Awoniyi’s close-range header as Forest continued to press and, although Phillips sent a low 18-yarder into the comfortable clutches of Matz Sels, with the half-hour mark approaching, the acrobatic Areola produced another stunning save to beat out a thumping 10-yarder from Gibbs-White.

Shortly afterwards, Antonio found himself racing clean away but a lack of match fitness and match practice sadly saw him completely fluff his lines with only Sels to beat and Forest duly survived.

There was yet more frustration for the former Forest forward on 36 minutes, when he was booked for dissent after being adjudged to have committed a touchline foul and, with the opening period drawing to a close, Antonio also saw his 18-yarder charged down on the edge of the area.

By now, the first-half was looking destined to end goalless but still there was to be one, final cruel twist for Moyes boys with just seconds of the five additional minutes remaining.

Collecting from Hudson-Odoi, Tavares floated over hanging, left-wing cross towards the penalty-spot, where Nayef Aguerd rose highest to nod clear but when Nicolás Domínguez collected 25-yards out and played a low pass back into the box, the 39-times capped Moroccan defender found himself out-muscled by the ox-like Awoniyi, who slotted a low 10-yarder beyond the hitherto defiant Areola.

Just after the break, Areola brilliantly beat away Elanga’s rising angled volley before Kurt Zouma was booked for wrestling Awoniyi down onto the centre-spot and, with Bowen and Antonio now swapping roles, Williams also had his name taken for tripping the Jamaican international lurking out wide.

James Ward-Prowse curled the consequent free-kick over the crossbar into the disgruntled Hammers fans packed behind Sels’ goal and, after Vladimír Coufal was booked for fouling Hudson-Odoi, Phillips was somewhat unluckily cautioned alongside Domínguez following a touchline tangle.

Areola produced another sensational stop to deny Danilo after the Brazilian sent a 20-yarder sizzling through the Nottingham drizzle but it does not just rain for the much-maligned Moyes these days, it pours. 

And just three minutes after collecting that first yellow card, Phillips was repeating his name to Referee Bramall after tripping Gibbs-White midway inside the Forest half.

Now reduced to 10 men and with both sets of supporters chanting ‘You’re getting sacked in the morning’ the saturated Moyes replaced Coufal and Antonio with Johnson and Maxwel Cornet, who somehow survived a Video Assistant Referee review after tripping Williams in the area.

The exasperated Espírito Santo was booked for protesting that curious decision but despite seeing his side go on to squander a handful of decent late chances, the Portuguese boss would, indeed, still see his troops get their second goal of the afternoon.

Five minutes into additional time, the tiring, ten-man Hammers found themselves stretched as substitute Divock Origi – on for the injured Awoniyi - nonchalantly played in Williams down the right-flank with an overhead, back-flicked volley.

And, when the overlapping Forest defender cut back into area, Hudson-Odoi arrived unchallenged to lash home from 12 yards to cement Forest’s victory with his fourth goal of the campaign to leave West Ham still looking for that elusive first win of the year.

NOTTINGHAM FOREST: Sels, Williams, Tavares, Felipe, Murillo, Danilo, Domínguez (Yates 86), Gibbs-White (Omobamidele 90+3), Elanga, Hudson-Odoi, Awoniyi (Origi 67). Unused subs: Turner, Kouyaté, Toffolo, Niakhaté, Reyna, Ribeiro.

WEST HAM UNITED: Areola, Coufal (Johnson 76), Emerson (Souček 83), Zouma (Ings 90+3), Aguerd, Álvarez, Phillips, Ward-Prowse, Kudus, Bowen, Antonio (Cornet 76). Unused subs: Fabiański, Cresswell, Mavropanos, Ogbonna, Mubama.

Booked: Kudus (8), Gibbs-White (9), Antonio (36), Awoniyi (45+6), Zouma (57), Williams (60), Coufal (68), Phillips (68), Domínguez (68).

Sent off: Phillips (71).

Referee: Thomas Bramall.