The run which set up Ireland's first goal in the October 1981 World Cup qualifying match against France was the quintessential Michael Robinson moment.
hen the ball breaks to Robinson just inside the French half, his immediate impulse is to go straight at the defence. As he approaches the penalty area he takes the brave decision to push the ball past the lunging Maxime Bossis.
It leaves him wide open to being clattered, but instead Robinson evades the challenge and Bossis collides Keystone Kops style with Gerard Janvion to leave the way clear.
Approaching the by-line, Robinson cuts a lovely ball across where centre-back Philippe Mahut, striving to keep it away from Frank Stapleton, diverts it past 'keeper Jean Castaneda.
That run perfectly illustrates the daring, sense of adventure and wholeheartedness which epitomised Robinson during his time in the Irish jersey.
He would go on to score the third goal in a 3-2 Irish win which marked the high-water point of the 1982 qualifying campaign, which might have been the most dramatic in our football history. It was certainly the most difficult, with Eoin Hand's team pitted against 1978 World Cup runners-up Holland, 1980 European runners-up Belgium and the France team which would reach the semi-finals of the 1982 World Cup.
Yet despite this horrendous draw, Ireland would come agonisingly close to qualifying for the finals in Spain with poor refereeing decisions at vital times playing a crucial part as they fell just short.
Robinson, who died last week from cancer at the age of 61, was a central figure in an effort which has never really been given its due.
A notably irritating feature of the Charlton years, wonderful and all though they were, was the insistence by new minted fans of the national team that Ireland had been 'no good at all' before the advent of the Geordie Messiah. Yet the side of the early 1980s produced a series of surpassingly gallant performances in a group where the odds were stacked against them from the start.
The first notice that something special might be in the offing came during Ireland's second match, after an underwhelming 3-2 win away to Cyprus.
Apparently heading towards a 1-0 defeat at home to Holland, Ireland pulled it out of the bag with two goals in the last 12 minutes from Gerry Daly and Mark Lawrenson.
A 1-1 home draw against Belgium the following month, with the goal coming from the outstanding Tony Grealish, kept the pot boiling.
But it was obvious that at 32, Don Givens was no longer the striker of old and a fortnight later Ireland plunged Robinson in at the deep end against France in Paris, just four days after his eligibility under parentage rules had been confirmed.
Playing with Brighton in the top flight following an unhappy stint at Manchester City, Robinson wasn't the most familiar quantity to Irish fans. But he was an excellent striker who'd end the season on 19 goals, just one behind leaders Steve Archibald and Peter Withe.
He struggled along with everyone else as France launched a fearsome first-quarter onslaught at the Parc des Princes and took the lead through Michel Platini.
But, like his teammates, the new boy grew into the game and appeared to have made a dream debut when he swept home a knockdown from Kevin Moran in the second half.
Enter Spanish referee Augusto Lamo Castillo to disallow the goal for a handball which he was the only one in the stadium to witness. Forced to continue chasing the game, Ireland eventually conceded a second goal on the break scored by Jacques Zimako.
Those were Ireland's years of disallowed goals. For years afterwards our jubilant jump into the air as the ball hit the net would be accompanied by a quick look at the linesman and a nagging suspicion that the referee would intervene. Some people aren't over it yet.
Stapleton had a perfectly good goal disallowed against France in the qualifying campaign for the 1978 World Cup at a similarly vital stage.
And that same competition saw a John Giles goal which would have put Ireland 2-1 up in Bulgaria and perhaps lead to ultimate qualification disallowed by Greek referee Nikos Zlatanos. Even worse was to follow.
Robinson was among the scorers in a 6-0 win over Cyprus before Ireland travelled to Brussels in March 1981. A superb first half performance looked to have ended perfectly when Stapleton guided home a cunning Liam Brady free kick.
But once more the referee disallowed it. This decision was so mysterious that when, years later, an Irish journalist tracked down referee Raul Nazaré, the Portuguese official gave three different reasons for it and seemed convinced by none of them.
Belgium pressed in the second half, but Ireland were dangerous on the break with Robinson's pace giving the home defence plenty of trouble. I vividly remember him collecting the ball on the right near halfway and heading for goal.
All the way defender Luc Millecamps chased with Robinson remaining one step ahead of his pursuer. As he cut in a goal looked on, but 'keeper Michel Preud'homme saved with his legs.
Ireland looked to have held out when, with three minutes remaining, home captain Eric Gerets produced the type of swan dive which makes you feel embarrassed for the player involved.
Or would have if Nazaré hadn't given the Belgians a free on the edge of the box. René Vandereycken's shot came back off the crossbar but Jan Ceulemans nodded in the rebound.
My mother, who was at the game in the Heysel Stadium, says she can still hear the massed scream of 'Belgiiiiiiiiiique' which went up as the ball hit the net.
There has been no more sickening defeat for an Irish team. As things turned out, a point in Brussels would have been enough for qualification. People can trot out the 'you make your own luck' line all they want, but sometimes your luck is just out.
Ireland knew they probably needed to win in Amsterdam in September against a Dutch team which, though short some of the greats from 1978, was driven by the peerless pair of Arnold Muhren and Frans Thijssen who a few months previously had inspired Ipswich Town to a memorable UEFA Cup victory that year.
Robinson was in the thick of it once more, scoring with a fine volley five minutes before half-time, but the game ended in a 2-2 draw, Lawrenson heading just over near the end. Which brings us to Lansdowne Road and that Robinson run which led to the own goal.
Ireland were on fire that day and further goals from Stapleton and Robinson himself left them 3-1 up after 39 minutes. Suddenly there were fantasies of an even bigger win to cancel out France's advantage on goal difference.
But Platini pulled one back with seven minutes left and it took a great save from Seamus McDonagh to deny Didier Six an equaliser at the death.
Ireland's one remaining hope was that Holland would draw with France in Paris the following month and send us into a play-off against the Dutch.
All went to plan in a scoreless first half and we breathed again when Platini failed with a free-kick from the edge of the box seven minutes into the second. Too soon.
Another Iberian referee, Antonio Jose da Silva, ordered it to be retaken. Platini scored and France went on to win 2-0. They confirmed their qualification with a 4-0 home win over Cyprus three weeks later. That one had never been in doubt.
One point behind Belgium and with an inferior goal difference to France, Ireland were left on the outside looking in. In the finals, France would reach the semis and Belgium defeat holders Argentina on the way to the second stage. It was Northern Ireland who would become the tournament darlings. We would have to wait another eight years for our debut on the World Cup stage.
The most frustrating thing is that this Ireland team could have made a big impression in Spain and would have played much better football than Charlton's side did in Italy. The remainder of Hand's reign was disappointing, failure to qualify for the next two major championships ushering in the Age of Jack. Robinson was never quite the same force again for Ireland.
There's a deep unfairness about the way Hand has been either ignored or lampooned in the intervening years.
His critics say that the 1982 effort was all due to the quality of players he had available. But Giles had the same squad available in 1980 when Ireland won just two out of eight games in their European Championship qualifying group and took just one point out of four against Northern Ireland.
Eoin Hand deserves to be something more than a patronised footnote in Irish football history. What he really needed was the kind of break Charlton got six years later when Scotland's Gary Mackay scored with four minutes left in Sofia. It never came.
A kinder draw would have helped too. When Ireland qualified for Italia 90, their rivals for the runners-up spot were Hungary and Northern Ireland rather than France and Holland.
But in the grim days of the Irish early '80s, nothing was more exciting than Ireland's gallant quest to boldly go where we'd never gone before.
No one played a greater part in that quest than Michael Robinson, whose life on and off the pitch was just like that moment in Dublin when he put his head down and took on the challenges without an ounce of fear.