A 1-0 win over Aston Villa was low on quality throughout but the Hammers put in an improved second-half showing and got their reward with 15 minutes remaining, as Fornals scored their first league goal of the campaign.
It takes West Ham off the foot of the table and gives them a timely boost ahead of matches against Tottenham and Chelsea.
Here’s how David Moyes’ side rated at Villa Park...
Lukasz FabiaÅski 6
Ben Johnson 5
Forced off injured midway through the first-half.
Thilo Kehrer 6
A touch shaky when dragged into the channels by Watkins runs.
Kurt Zouma 7
Solid at the back, perhaps the Hammers best player. Made key block from Watkins.
Aaron Cresswell 6
Baffling reluctance to deliver crosses into a six-foot-five-inch centre-forward. Seemed more comfortable in back four after the break.
Emerson Palmieri 5
Handed a debut and seemed to have licence to get high on the left but West Ham rarely manager to find him. Replaced at half-time.
Declan Rice 5
Uncharacteristically sloppy in possession, forced too deep to try to set tone.
Tomas Soucek 5
Swamped in midfield as West Ham lost battle in first-half.
Pablo Fornals 7
Has had a fine start to the season. Ineffectual in first-half, then better when moved out wide at half-time. Blew a couple of good openings in transition but got crucial winner.
Jarrod Bowen 4
Looks a yard off it at the start of the season. Wasted West Ham’s best chance with hesitancy when sent clear.
Gianluca Scamacca 5
Isolated as Villa dominated first-half. Slightly more involved after the break but replaced as influence was growing. Useful defensive presence at set-pieces.
Vladimir Coufal (Johnson 22’) 5
Another who has had a poor start to the season, guilty of losing the ball too easily on several occasions after early introduction.
Said Benrahma (Emerson 46’) 6
Arrival made a big difference, able to find pockets of space to get on the ball.
Michail Antonio (Scamacca 65’)
Unused: Areola, Ogbonna, Coventry, Downes, Lanzini, Cornet,