Anton Ferdinand struck a second-half winner as West Ham heaped more misery on relegation-threatened Fulham.
Ferdinand is mobbed after netting West Ham's winner
Simon Davies put the visitors ahead when his direct free-kick evaded the Hammers defence to creep home.
Dean Ashton levelled before the break when he headed home Freddie Ljungberg's teasing right-wing cross.
And despite an heroic display by keeper Antti Niemi, Fulham were unable to hold out as Ferdinand lashed home Mark Noble's cross for a deserved win.
West Ham started brightly and worked hard to shut down the Fulham back four but were dealt a blow when the Cottagers took a shock lead.
Davies was fouled by Jonathan Spector out wide and the Welshman himself curled in the right-footed free-kick which the home defence failed to clear and let bounce past the helpless Robert Green.
Green seemed distracted by the presence of Carlos Bocanegra, and there were suggestions the American full-back had even made the faintest of connections.
But Bocanegra was forced off minutes later after taking a blow to the face that left a nasty cut under his eye, with Aaron Hughes replacing him in defence.
Hodgson had called on his players to "fight like tigers" in their remaining matches and the former Inter Milan and Switzerland manager would have been delighted with his side's response.
Ashton (centre) is congratulated for heading the Hammers; equaliser
But against the run of play, West Ham drew level on 28 minutes when Ljungberg raced down the right and rifled over a cross which curled away from Niemi and was met firmly by Ashton for his sixth goal of the season.
Ashton almost struck again when he chested down Matthew Etherington's pass from the left before his drive was spectacularly tipped on to the crossbar by Niemi.
The duel between Ashton and Niemi continued when the ex-Norwich striker cut in from the left and saw his bullet-like shot saved, before Carlton Cole's close-range shot was also well blocked by the Finnish stopper.
West Ham again looked dangerous after the break and Noble's drilled shot from 20 yards was well blocked Dejan Stefanovic.
But the visitors' defence finally buckled when defender Ferdinand arrived late to fire home Noble's cross in the 67th-minute.
Fulham should have equalised when Danny Murphy's cross fell to the unmarked Chris Baird but he could only head over from point-blank range.
Midfielder Jimmy Bullard ended 16 months of injury hell after coming on as a late substitute for Fulham.
But the west London side, who are without an away win in 28 matches, were unable to carve out the equaliser as they slumped to their 11th defeat of the season to remain in the bottom three.
West Ham manager Alan Curbishley:
"We didn't start well and (match winner) Anton Ferdinand copped it at half-time. I wasn't happy with him or Matthew Upson.
"But both came out to put it right. We wanted to cement our position in the top half and it was a big result for us.
"It was never going to be easy but we got the result and with players coming back from injury things look good."
Fulham manager Roy Hodgson:
"There are enough games left. It won't be easy for us or many of the others around the relegation zone either. I believe we can do it.
"We had chances at the end and it was difficult to see a point disappear.
"I can't complain about the effort but our balance is not right and we will have to work to bring new players in."
West Ham: Green, Spector, Ferdinand, Upson, McCartney, Ljungberg (Faubert 89), Mullins, Noble, Etherington (Bowyer 83), Ashton, Cole (Boa Morte 65).
Subs Not Used: Wright, Collins.
Goals: Ashton 28, Ferdinand 69.
Fulham: Niemi, Baird, Stefanovic, Bocanegra (Hughes 14), Konchesky, Volz (Bullard 77), Davis, Murphy, Davies, Healy (Smertin 78), Dempsey.
Subs Not Used: Warner, Ki-Hyeon.
Goal: Davies 8.
Ref: Mike Riley (Yorkshire).
BBC Sport Player Rater man of the match: West Ham's Dean Ashton 8.23 (on 90 minutes).
Please note that you can still give the players marks out of 10 on BBC Sport's Player Rater after the match has finished.