Crystal Palace boss Iain Dowie hailed his players' resolute defending in their 2-1 win at Bradford City their fouth consecutive away victory on Saturday.

The Eagles took an early two-goal lead thanks to goals from Andy Johnson his 18th of the season and Neil Shipperley, who broke his barren scoring run.

The home side got back into the game from loan signing Ronnie Wallwork but Palace defended well to claim the three points.

"Some of our defending was very pleasing," said Dowie. "We were resolute, showed a great spirit and a willingness to throw their bodies in the way.

"It was very pleasing that the lads showed such great spirit and desire.

"Bradford were one of the better sides we've played this year. The fact that we had to defend tells the story."

Johnson gave Palace the lead in the 13th minute. Danny Butterfield's free-kick from inside Palace's half was flicked on by Shipperley to Michael Hughes at the edge of the box and he slipped in Johnson who scored from eight yards.

Two minutes later, Shipperley doubled the advantage. Bradford goalkeeper Alan Combe came rushing out to collect Shipperley's pass to Johnson inside the box, fumbled it and it fell to the former Wimbledon striker who drove home with a slight deflection from 18 yards.

City pulled a goal back on 27 minutes from Ronnie Wallwork, who signed on loan from West Brom last week.

Paul Heckingbottom's cross into the penalty area was headed in by the former Manchester United trainee from six yards.

David Wetherall and Alun Armstrong wasted good chances to level as the Eagles' back four withstood City pressure.

Riihilahti could have made the game safe for Palace late on but somehow missed the target.

Dowie added: "Mark Hudson did well against David Wetherall who is always a handful and he was part of a solid defensive showing, in particular I thought Danny Butterfield played a good game.

"I was disappointed with the way we conceded the goal but we look at the video and work at putting it right for the future.

"The whole team showed a great hunger and desire to complete the job and we could have added to the scoreline.

"It was good to see Neil Shipperley hitting the target, and he has displayed a great attitude and an all round good work rate of late.

"In recent matches he has been a provider of goals but took his own one well. It's good for him and long may it continue.

"Following this win it's now back to the training ground and concentrating on our next game with a real effort to continue the improvements we are working on, so that everyone's game improves ready for the week-to-week action."

Regarding a late surge for the play-offs, Dowie said: "As regards the top six, it's a long way off. We'll just concentrate on our next game, which is against Wimbledon at home this Saturday."