Substitute Conor McGrandles’ 93rd-minute leveller earned Charlton a 2-2 draw as once again they left Fratton Park wearing smiles.
It was agony for the Blues, who twice deservedly went in front, through Abu Kamara and then Colby Bishop’s penalty.
They also hit the bar on two occasions, while found Addicks keeper Ashley Maynard-Brewer in inspired form throughout.
Regardless, it ended in a point to cut the Blues’ lead at the top of League One following wins for rivals Oxford United and Bolton.
Rafferty told The News: ‘We’ve played worse than that this season and won games, I think the performance was really good.
‘They scored two scruffy goals and, at times, you just look at it and think what can we do? Performance-wise it was really good, in my opinion.
‘We were really positive on the front foot, and created a really good amount of chances. I know we scored two, but we had to kill a game off with that third – and, if it doesn’t go in, you are always open to the risk of conceding again.
‘We kept pushing for it and it felt like it was coming, the fans probably thought it was coming as well, but it just didn’t go in.
‘We were definitely the better team, I don’t think there was any doubt about that. But you’ve got to kill the game off, otherwise you’re susceptible to the equaliser at the end.’
It represented only the second time in their last nine League One fixtures the Blues have failed to win.
Pompey, of course, remain unbeaten in the league after 16 matches overall.
Rafferty added: ‘We didn’t win, so what, we’ll hopefully win the next game.
‘I suppose it’s one of those things, it’s football, and we have to keep working and go again.
‘Use that going into the next game knowing that you’ve really got to kill it off, because it’s never over until it’s over, especially with the minutes getting added on at the end of games now.
‘We’ve just got to take it on the chin and go again.’