Sebastien Haller scored twice as West Ham got some respite from their Premier League problems with a 3-0 victory over Charlton in the Carabao Cup.
The Hammers' record signing struck twice in four first-half minutes, and Felipe Anderson added a late third, to ease David Moyes' side into the third round.
It may only temporarily paper over the cracks after West Ham's poor start to the season, a 2-0 home defeat by Newcastle on Saturday, as well as the unrest off the field and the nightmare set of fixtures that awaits them.
But with Arsenal, Wolves, Leicester, Tottenham, Manchester City and Liverpool to come, the League Cup could well be their only chance of racking up some wins before the end of October.
So the rumblings of discontent were put to one side, for one evening at least, as West Ham booked a home tie against either Leeds or Hull.
In the first meeting between the London clubs since 2007 the hosts had the ball in the net after 10 minutes following a goalmouth scramble, but Andriy Yarmolenko's scruffy effort was ruled out for a foul.
Haller scuffed an early chance wide from 10 yards but did not have to wait long to open his, and West Ham's, account for the season.
In the 22nd minute young midfielder Josh Cullen, who spent the last two seasons on loan at Charlton, played a clever ball over the top to Yarmolenko who presented Haller with a tap-in.
Four minutes later Haller, who struggled in his first season in east London, offered a glimpse of the player West Ham thought they were getting last summer with a towering header to bury a Robert Snodgrass cross.
League One Charlton almost grabbed one back before half-time but the sliding Macauley Bonne was inches away from converting Alfie Doughty's cross.
After the break Wales midfielder Jonny Williams forced a save from Hammers goalkeeper Darren Randolph with a fierce volley.
But Anderson ensured West Ham's safe passage through when he tucked away Manuel Lanzini's square ball 10 minutes from full-time.
What the managers said
West Ham manager David Moyes: "Probably the only disappointment is we should have won more comfortably. But Seb getting a couple of goals will be good for his confidence. We had Michail Antonio scoring for us at the end of last season and now we hope Seb gets on a run of scoring goals.
"Josh [Cullen, who spent the last two seasons on loan at Charlton] has done really well. He's a great boy around the place, he works incredibly hard to improve. I thought he did well tonight.
"We know what we are going to get from Josh. I think he's someone who has put himself in with a chance because we are short of midfield players at times."
Charlton boss Lee Bowyer: "In the first half we looked really nervous, we were so afraid of giving the ball away. But at half-time I told them to believe you can play, and I thought we were the better side.
"The only thing lacking was that final pass, that final finish. And that's what you pay for."
Live Premier League
West Ham are back in action on Saturday when they make the short trip to Arsenal in the Premier League, live on Sky Sports (kick-off 8pm). Charlton are at home to Doncaster on the same day in Sky Bet League One (kick-off 3pm).