Pulrose United signed off the calendar year on a high with a fourth win of the JCK Division Two season over an inconsistent Onchan at the Nivison Stadium on Saturday.
With the 3-2 win and resulting three points, Pully move away from the foot of the second tier, putting behind them their early season problems.
Onchan, who started the season promisingly enough, have been blighted by their usual inconsistency as mid-table obscurity beckons for Tristan Ringham’s side.
It was an exciting match where both goalkeepers shone - Pulrose’s Stuart Morris and Onchan’s Callum Donnell producing a number of class saves throughout the match.
The Reds made the brighter start with Tony Joughin hitting the crossbar and Dave Skillen having a goal-bound effort scooped clear from the goal-line.
Onchan had their chances too, David Priestnal was denied by Morris’s reflexes and following a text-book move, Paul Morris’s cross from the right picked out Rob Byrne who fired his strike narrowly wide.
With both teams favouring attack over defence, an opening goal was inevitable and this arrived in the 22nd minute in favour of the visitors.
Onchan needlessly conceded a free-kick just outside the penalty area and Ben Cowin dispatched the resulting set-piece hard and low into the net.
The Yellows searched for an equaliser and Morris was called into action again acrobatically pushing aside Greg Taylor’s long-range effort before denying Michael Cherry when he was put through. The former Peel stopper then expertly tipped over Jared Culligan’s header following a corner.
The breakthrough for the hosts come just before half-time. Taylor squared the ball it across goal from the left for Rob Byrne to stroke home.
Three minutes after the break, Onchan’s heads were still in the dressing room when they were caught off-guard, conceding a goal for the second occasion.
Ben Cowin’s pass found Aaron Raby who provided the through-ball to Skillen who chipped home a nice finish that watching Pulrose stalwart Peter ‘Mo’ Powlesland was well impressed with.
Yet again, however, Onchan came back fighting. David Priestnal’s deflected shot was pushed aside by Morris.
From the resulting corner, Steve Clarke unleashed a shot that narrowly flew over the crossbar.
The hosts went close again, Danny Bentham’s goal-bound deflected effort was cleared off the line. However, Pulrose had their moments too, Ben Cowin was put clear and Donnell pulled off a one-handed save.
The third arrived for the visitors when Ryan Powlesland passed inside for Barry English to stroke home into the bottom right.
Aaron Raby came close to put the game out of reach for the Yellows, missing a glorious chance, however, Onchan did have the final say in this match. Bentham’s free-kick was flicked on by Brian Ring into Clarke’s path and he guided the ball past Morris to reduce the arrears.
Onchan: Callum Donell, Paul Morris (Nuno Sousa 66m), Daniel Bentham, Steve Clarke, David Rees, Mark Rees (Chris Armstrong 89m), Rob Byrne, David Priestnal (Brian Ring 75m), Jared Culligan, Greg Taylor, Michael Cherry.
Pulrose: Stuart Morris, Owen Quayle, Tony Joughin, Craig Cowin, Joe Joyce, Ben Cowin, David Skillen (Kenny Cowin 75m), Paul Fick, Aaron Raby, Barry English, Ryan Powlesland (Mykel McCann 74m)
Referee: Matty Shaw
Booked: D. Rees, M. Rees (Onchan)
Man of the Match: Morris (Pulrose)
Match rating: HHHHI