As the rain descended on Fratton Park, it appeared to be an apt metaphor for Pompey’s evening.
But in the end there was no cold water poured on their Wembley dream, thanks to an incredible late comeback against Exeter.
Marcus Harness had cancelled out Jake Taylor’s opener, but a late Christian Burgess own-goal looked to be sending the League Two visitors into the Leasing.com Trophy final.
Instead, Pompey struck twice in stoppage-time, with Cameron McGeehan levelling again before John Marquis nodded home a last-gasp winner.
And Kenny Jackett was delighted that his spirited side maintained their hopes of retaining the silverware.
The Blues boss said: “Congratulations to the players because I thought we were on top in what was a really hard game.
“We had chances, but I didn’t know where the breakthrough was coming from because Exeter were defending really well and we had to persevere.
"There was a lot of hard work required because – on a few different occasions – it just didn’t look like it was going to be our night."
“You could see the type of season that they are having and it was a very confident performance from them.
“There was a lot of hard work required because – on a few different occasions – it just didn’t look like it was going to be our night.
“But we managed to find a way through in the end and there was a terrific atmosphere inside the stadium.
“It’s great to score late on and there was plenty of character, belief and ability involved in those goals. There was quality, as well as heart.
“We’ve got determination and togetherness in that dressing room and those on the fringes will be just as delighted as those who played.
“Taking a team to Wembley is always a proud moment, but it’s tucked away now for a couple of months and we have other priorities.”
Ellis Harrison limped off the pitch midway through the first half and is a doubt for Saturday’s league visit to Fleetwood.
Jackett said: “He had a dead leg and did try to run it off, but unfortunately he couldn’t. It doesn’t look anything major and we’ll have to see if he’s okay for the weekend.”