You want to maintain the pattern stitch as established while you're decreasing. Seems like the p2tog you did would be fine. Then, as you thought, you'd eliminate the p1 at the beginning of the following row.
Same with the front edge. Are you able to tell from looking at them which stitch is supposed to be knit & which is supposed to be purled? That would be a big help in maintaining the pattern.
Hope this helps some...
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