The 29-year-old striker was making his first appearance for the Hammers since January and marked his return with a goal of the highest quality.
Carroll tracked Aaron Creswell’s clipped cross to perfection, making sumptuous contact with his left foot and steering an unstoppable volley past a despairing Jack Butland.
It was a fine way to reacquaint himself to the West Ham faithful, sending London Stadium into relieved delirium.
The Hammers had dominated proceedings against Stoke, but struggled to find the crucial breakthrough until the imposing striker was substituted on in the 86th minute.
And with five matches to play in the Premier League season, there could be ample opportunities for Carroll to stake his claim as one of the strikers selected by Gareth Southgate in his World Cup squad.
The striker has been capped nine times by England, and it is not outlandish to suggest he can make a late bid for Russia. Carroll offers a style of play that no other forward in the current set-up can replicate, with fantastic technical skills combined with remarkably powerful strength.
And buoyed by his late heroics, supporters flocked to make the case for Carroll’s inclusion in Southgate’s side.
If Andy Carroll stays fit until the end of the season, He surly has to be going the world Cup as s wild card!! Something different maybe!!??
— Noel Hunt (@Noelhunt20) April 16, 2018
Andy Carroll is the plan B striker, England need for the world cup
— Watch out Weeks (@calweeks) April 16, 2018
That 10 minute cameo by Andy Carroll epitomises why he should go to the World Cup as long as he’s fit. Nobody else offers that kind of alternative threat as well as he does.
— Andy Smith (@Andaaii) April 16, 2018
— rollo (@DanielRolison) April 16, 2018
And in Euro 2012, the last international tournament Carroll was involved in, the striker scored a crucial goal against Ukraine.
Is there to be more of the same from the West Ham frontman this summer?