Sam Allardyce missed West Ham's trip to Swansea with a chest infection and his spirits would not have been lifted by being denied two Barclays Premier League points in a 1-1 draw.
The Hammers manager had to leave his assistant Neil McDonald in charge at the Liberty Stadium but things were going to plan when Andy Carroll conjured up a goal of the season contender two minutes before the break.
West Ham had good chances to win the game but Swansea claimed a share of the points when Bafetimbi Gomis rose at a 74th-minute corner and his header hit the post before striking Hammers captain Mark Noble for what will probably go down as an own goal.
Gomis celebrated by running towards the home bench and collecting a French flag which he held aloft, Swansea saying he did so in honour of those who lost their lives in the Paris terrorist attacks this week.
Swansea's conundrum was how to fill the void left by the departure of top goalscorer Wilfried Bony to the African Nations Cup.
Bony is on the verge of completing a £30million move to Manchester City so the issue could be a pressing one for the second half of the campaign, and Gomis started up front after his two-goal FA Cup show at Tranmere.
The Frenchman almost had an early sight of goal from Nathan Dyer's cross but he could not reach the ball under pressure from Hammers defender James Collins.
Gomis managed the first shot of the game from 20 yards but it was straight at Adrian and it was rather a largely scrappy first period with West Ham taking their time to settle, but Nolan put the ball on the roof of the Swansea net.
Swansea regained their early initiative when Wayne Routledge's ball freed Gomis but the striker took too long to deliver a shot and James Tomkins dispossessed him in the penalty area.
Neil Taylor fired over and Swansea's best move of the half featuring Angel Rangel and Dyer ended with Gylfi Sigurddson's rather tame effort at Adrian.
And there was a nasty sting in the first half tail for Swansea when Stewart Downing's cross cleared the head of Ashley Williams and Carroll chested the ball down in the box.
Carroll was moving away from goal and Swansea had chances to clear, but they did not take them and the big striker turned to deliver a stunning shot into the top corner of Lukasz Fabianski's net.
It was Carroll's fourth goal of the season, three of them having come against Swansea.
Swansea almost responded immediately when Routledge burst into the box to be denied by Carl Jenkinson's brave block but the hosts knew they had to do far better in an attacking sense in the second half.
Sigurdsson signalled that intent inside 30 seconds of the re-start when his 25-yarder flew close to Adrian's goal and Jenkinson stopped Routledge's dangerous run.
But West Ham were getting bodies behind the ball and were quick to turn defence into attack and Carroll almost added to his tally when he slid wide from Jenkinson's cross.
The Hammers were also a real threat at set-pieces and Collins went close to following up his midweek FA Cup goal at Everton when he steered Downing's corner a yard wide.
Gomis blazed over before his equaliser but West Ham came strong at the death with Fabianski making fine saves from Downing and Jenkinson and Taylor turning Tomkins' header away off the goal-line.