Albion’s youngsters will have no grounds for complacency as they return to the cup trail tonight.

What is likely to be a very young side, though nominally under-23s, are at Hastings United in the second round of the Sussex Senior Cup.

They will come across a home club who are on a fabulous unbeaten run and virtually untouchable at their own Pilot Field home.

And whose on-field future is being shaped with the help of a former Albion development squad player who went on to great things.

Bournemouth defender Steve Cook was back at Hastings on Saturday, making the most of the international break to watch his home-town club beat Phoenix Sports 3-1 in BetVictor south-east division.

That result leaves them poised to go top of the table when they play their game in hand.

It also stretched their run at home to six wins out of six in the league this season.

They are unbeaten on their own patch in all competitions with just a couple of draws to blemish a perfect record.

Cook was a Senior Cup winner with Albion in 2011 before being let go to Dean Court.

But he retains strong links with East Sussex.

Hastings boss Chris Agutter said: “Cooky was there on Saturday.

“He is our academy ambassador. He invests a lot of time in our academy set-up and we work hard to bring the next set of youngsters through.

“This tie is a bit of a free one for us, really.

“The Senior Cup is not high on our priority list, to be blunt.

“But it is still an opportunity to test ourselves against potentially Brighton’s next generation.

“We will make a couple of changes but we are also keen to maintain momentum.

“Saying that, we made seven changes against Whitehawk in the FA Trophy and still went through.”

The third-round draw took place on Saturday and sent tonight’s winners to Burgess Hill.

For that to be the young Seagulls, they will have to halt growing momentum at Hastings.

Only Worthing in the FA Cup and Whitehawk in the Trophy have escaped from the Pilot Field with draws this season.

Agutter added: “We are on one of the longest unbeaten runs from steps one to four anywhere in the pyramid.

“Our home form is right up there as well.

“We have gone 30 games unbeaten over 90 minutes, going back to when we lost to Haywards Heath last season.”

Albion return to Premier League 2 action on Friday when Liverpool visit the Lancing training complex.

They are at Crawley next Wednesday for their first Premier League International Cup group fixture, versus West Ham.

That event takes on a more cosmopolitan feel for Rusk’s boys next month when they host Wolfsburg and Valencia.

But it’s the Far East tonight – at least in a Sussex context.