The title was firmly in Liversedge’s hands going into the final day as a win at the home of title rivals Marske and a draw at home to Brighouse ensured they held a three-point and 14 goal difference lead at the top, writes Kieran Archer.
But a final day win put the title and promotion beyond doubt and with West Yorkshire neighbours Ossett United earning a draw against Marske, Sedge finished the season five points clear.
Sedge looked in the mood to put on the performance of champions in the early stages with Paul Walker, Nicky Walker, and Lewis Whitham all having good chances.
Frustration continued when Ollie Fearon’s low shot flew just wide of the post from the edge of the area.
They finally found a way past Worksop goalkeeper Sebastian Malkowski in the 33rd minute.
Ross Daly played a lovely through ball to Nicky Walker down the left and he drilled the ball across goal to the far post where Atkinson was waiting to tap home.
Keeper Jordan Porter was forced into action for the first time in the 43rd minute, but only had to make a simple stop from former Sedge midfielder Cody Cromack’s long range effort.
The Tigers started the second half much brighter with a good chance going begging for Liam Hardy and Porter having to make a great save from his own defender Spencer Harris after Iyrwah Gooden’s cross.
Whitham offered the first test to substitute keeper Jon Kennedy after Malkowski went off injured, but saw his deflected shot safely dealt with.
With the game slowing down and starting to have an end of season dead rubber feel, Atkinson provided a moment of magic to lift the atmosphere 20 minutes from time. The Sedge midfielder was given the ball just outside the box and he took a touch before curling beautifully into the top right corner.
Nicky Walker tried to get in on the action, forcing a good save and Atkinson went in search of his hat-trick, drilling just wide from distance.
At the other end, Worksop forced a great save from Porter with Luke Hall’s powerful strike from the edge of the area.
Hardy raced through minutes later, sparking Worksop claims for a penalty as Spencer Harris went shoulder to shoulder with him to stop his progress before both players went down.
Liversedge negotiated the final stages of the game to claim a 19th league clean sheet, backing up the old claim that defence wins championships.
However, their 98-goal haul is also a league best and having only been beaten once all season, there is a feeling around the club that despite the close-fought title race, Liversedge have been much the better side across the season.
Having been promoted based on points per game over the two covid-struck seasons, this is a first league title for the club since they won the old West Riding County Amateur League in 1968-69.
Liversedge will have the chance to make it a league and cup double now when they face local rivals Brighouse Town at Brighouse in the West Riding County Cup final on Friday, May 6.