Michail Antonio had made just a handful of substitute appearances for the Hammers since his €9.6 million summer switch from Nottingham Forest.
But, amidst an injury crisis at Upton Park, the Londoner was handed his first start against Stoke and grabbed his opportunity with an all-action display in the goalless draw.
“Michail did really well,” said manager Slaven Bilic. “He worked hard and has been waiting for his chance. Now he has got it and he used it really well.
“Sometimes it is hard for a player to come in and take their chance when they get it. But he did exactly that and I am really pleased for him.”
Antonio went close to claiming all three points for West Ham but his second-half volley was beaten away by City keeper Jack Butland.
“It felt unbelievable to get a chance,” Antonio told the club website. “This was my boyhood dream to play in the Premier League.”
City were without injured playmaker Xherdan Shaqiri but boss Mark Hughes hopes he will be fit to face Crystal Palace next weekend.
“He’s had a little bit of discomfort in his hamstring for a couple of weeks now, and a scan showed a bit of damage at the bottom of his hamstring,” said Hughes. “So we erred on the side of safety, we have a busy period coming up and we felt if he misses one game then hopefully he will be OK for next week.”
Adrian, Tomkins, Collins, Ogbonna, Cresswell, Song (Valencia 64), Zarate, Noble, Kouyate, Antonio (Jelavic 83), Carroll. Subs not used: Randolph, Jenkinson, Obiang, Oxford, Cullen.
Butland, Johnson, Shawcross, Wollscheid, Pieters, Cameron (Adam 68),Whelan, Afellay (Walters 66), van Ginkel (Diouf 56), Arnautovic, Krkic.
Bardsley, Joselu, Wilson, Haugaard.